Lulu’s son, Dot’s husband, and Lipsha’s father. As a young man, Gerry meets and falls in love with June, and it isn’t long before she is pregnant with Lipsha. Gerry wants to marry June, but she is already married to Gordie with an infant King at home. After Lipsha’s birth, June hands him over to Marie, and he is not told that Gerry is his father. Gerry spends most of the novel in and out of prison after getting into a bar fight with a man who calls him a racial slur. Most of Gerry’s prison time, however, is not related to his initial charge, but is instead due to his continued escape attempts. Gerry believes in justice not laws, and since he has served his original sentence, he refuses to spend one more minute in prison. Law enforcement considers Gerry a hardened criminal—an animal to be caged—but his reservation sees him as a local wonder, and a bit of a hero. He is like a legend of sorts to the Ojibwe people, one who evades capture and resist the oppressive white government, and they tell stories about his daring escapes. Gerry and King do a stint in the state penitentiary together and they grow close, but King betrays Gerry and snitches on his planned escape, adding years to Gerry’s sentence. At the end of the novel, Gerry again breaks out of prison and goes to King’s Minneapolis apartment to seek revenge, where he meets Lipsha for the first time. After the police beat down King’s door looking for Gerry, he escapes and hides in the trunk of Lipsha’s car. Lipsha agrees to drive Gerry to Canada, and along the way, they come to terms with their relationship as father and son. Gerry serves to illustrate the systemic and institutionalized racism of American society. Gerry is not a violent or dangerous man, yet he is criminalized by a racist justice system that seeks to imprison him simply because of his Native American identity.
Gerry Nanapush Quotes in Love Medicine
The Love Medicine quotes below are all either spoken by Gerry Nanapush or refer to Gerry Nanapush. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Love Medicine published in 2016.).
Crossing the Water Part 4 Quotes
He was right about that, of course. I’d never seen. He could not go back to a place where he was known and belonged. No matter where he settled down he would always be looking behind his shoulders. No matter what, he would always be on the run.
Gerry Nanapush Character Timeline in Love Medicine
The timeline below shows where the character Gerry Nanapush appears in Love Medicine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...overpower her. Plus, she was very pregnant. Albertine tried to explain that she wasn’t after Gerry, but Dot only appeared to get more upset. Finding no other option, Albertine threw her... (full context)
The Good Tears Part 1
Crossing the Water Part 2
...vision after his friend accidentally hit him in the head with a whiskey bottle that Gerry Nanapush, who was being transferred to the state penitentiary in North Dakota, was going to... (full context)
...and King are looking more “jumpy,” and then a news report comes over the radio. Gerry Nanapush has escaped the state penitentiary, the newscaster says, and is currently at large in... (full context)
Crossing the Water Part 3
Crossing the Water Part 4