AN IMPERFECT UNION

A WRITER'S SUICIDE CASTS A FAMOUS LITERARY MARRIAGE IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT

Not so very long ago, Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris were a literary love match of nearly mythic proportions. Married since 1981, they were best-selling and award-winning authors who were raising six children together; they gave interview upon interview describing how they critiqued each other's work, never allowing a single manuscript to leave their home without, as Dorris once put it, "consensus on every word." While some authors vary the dedications in their books, ticking off family and friends as the years go by, for Erdrich and Dorris, it seemed, there was only one Muse--the other. "To Michael, Complice in every...

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