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What is "The Leap" by Louise Erdrich about?

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Quick Answer

"The Leap" is a short story written by Louise Erdrich about a former trapeze artist and her daughter. The story is narrated from the daughter's point of view and follows the two as the mother loses both her sight and her coordination, eventually resulting in a ruined career.

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Full Answer

"The Leap" takes place in the 20th century in New Hampshire. According to Reference, this story focuses largely on the feelings and impressions of the trapeze artist's daughter, who views her mother with love and gratitude.

This short story, published in 1990, does not follow Erdrich's typical plot structure surrounding Native American culture. Erdrich herself is half Native American. According to the Poetry Foundation Organization, her mother is a Chippewa Indian and her father is German-American. She has written many novels and short stories about Native Americans, from her first book "Love Medicine" to "The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse." She has also published numerous collections of poetry, including "Jacklight," "Baptism of Desire" and "Original Fire: New and Selected Poems." Critics praise Erdrich for embracing her Native American heritage, bringing up issues about Native Americans and asking difficult questions. Much of her work revolves around identity and culture.

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