The Paris Review

The Blue Jay’s Dance

Revisited is a series in which writers look back on a work of art they first encountered long ago. Here, Sarah Menkedick revisits Louise Erdrich’s memoir, The Blue Jay’s Dance.

From the first edition of The Blue Jay’s Dance.

Nine weeks into my pregnancy, in the middle of an Ohio woods lit gold with fall, I sat in a small, dark cabin and wept. I had no idea how to proceed and I also understood with a wrenching clarity that I could not turn back. I had no model for pregnancy beyond the asexual lady on the cover of , clad in neutral sweater and slacks, plain-faced in her rocking chair, an emblem of the dull, docile femininity demanded

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