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In Louise Erdrich's 'LaRose,' parents make an impossible bargain

In Louise Erdrich's 'LaRose,' parents make an impossible bargain

Romeo Puyat, antihero and scourge of Louise Erdrich's new novel "LaRose," is a cursed man. Addicted to prescription drugs and anything else he can get his hands on, he lives in the shadows. Decades of ridicule and abuse run through his veins and fuel the rage that drives this story to its stunning end.

But once the scores have played out, Romeo stumbles into a moment of brief eloquence, a notable concession and measure of the affection that Erdrich holds for perhaps her most loathsome character.

"Some people don't have an alternative," Romeo manages to find the words at a graduation party for his estranged son. "No alternative to being...

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