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Two old women : an Alaska legend of betrayal, courage, and survival / by Velma Wallis ; illustrations by Jim Grant.

Wallis, Velma. (Author).

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Town of Plymouth. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Pease Public Library.

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Pease Public Library 398.2 WAL 34598000447394 Non-Fiction Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780060723521 (pbk.) :
  • ISBN: 0060723521 (pbk.) :
  • Physical Description: xiii, 140 p. : ill., maps ; 19 cm.
  • Edition: 1st Perennial ed.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Perennial, 2004.

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note:
Dedication -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Hunger and cold take their toll -- "Let us die trying" -- Recalling old skills -- Painful journey -- Map -- Saving a cache of fish -- Sadness among the people -- Stillness is broken -- New beginning -- About the Gwich'in people.
Summary, etc.:
Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival is a classic Athabascan Indian tale of survival, filled with suspense and wisdom as told by Velma Wallis, an outstanding Native American writer. Her style is a refreshing blend of contemporary and traditional, and her choice of subject matter challenges the taboos of her past. Yet her themes are modern -- empowerment of women, the aging of America, and a growing interest in Native American values. Based on a legend told and retold for many generations in the remote Yukon River region of northeast Alaska, this is the tragic and shocking story (with an unexpected upbeat ending) of two elderly women who are abandoned by a migrating band facing starvation because of unusually harsh Arctic weather and a shortage of fish and game.
Study Program Information Note:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.4 3 52269
Subject: Gwich'in Indians > Folklore.
Athapascan Indians > Folklore.
Legends > Alaska.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9780060723521
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
by Wallis, Velma
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BookList Review

Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

Growing up Gwich'in (one of the 11 distinct ethnic peoples of Alaska) in Fort Yukon, closer to the Arctic Circle than Fairbanks, Wallis had been hearing all her life the legend of the two old women abandoned to die by their starving tribe. Their own children abetted the cruel (not, incidentally, just to Western civilization) tribal decision. Wallis' rendition in serviceable prose of this culturally famous story is somewhere between translation and what is sometimes called re-creation. The tale (which has a happy ending) deserves a place in every regional collection but has a greater appeal, too. ~--Roland Wulbert

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9780060723521
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
by Wallis, Velma
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Kirkus Review

Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Enchanting retelling--and a 1993 Western States Book Award winner--of a tribal legend about two old women, left behind to die, who instead went on to survive and thrive. Wallis--one of 13 siblings with their roots in the Athabaskan tribe of Alaska--used to listen to her mother tell stories every night after the day's hard work was done. The story of the two old women was a favorite: In a winter of famine, the tribe decides to leave behind two elderly women, who although mobile and somewhat productive, complain constantly and require assistance. Some people are shocked and distressed, but no one, including the daughter of one of the women, speaks up, afraid of precipitating violence in the tribe. As the tribe marches off, the two women, 75 and 80 years old, vow they will ``die trying.'' They manage to catch a few rabbits and a squirrel to sustain them, then set off to a campsite miles away where, they recall, food is more abundant. They reach their goal, survive the winter, and spend the summer laying in a store of foodstuffs that will eventually sustain the whole tribe when it returns in search of them. Wallis recounts the tale here in simple but vivid detail, describing a life of unremitting labor in an extraordinary landscape. The story speaks to many modern concerns--abandonment or isolation of old men and women in nursing homes and retirement communities; the elderly's perhaps unwitting view of themselves as a privileged elite, but one which greatly underestimates its capabilities; the way in which the greatest good for the greatest number can lead to injustice and even cruelty, and in which trust, once broken, takes time and hard work to repair. Full of adventure, suspense, and obstacles overcome--an octogenarian version of Thelma and Louise triumphant. (Illustrations)

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9780060723521
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
by Wallis, Velma
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Publishers Weekly Review

Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

This novel of two Native American women abandoned by their tribe in the Alaskan Yukon won the 1993 Western State Book award. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Syndetic Solutions - School Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9780060723521
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
by Wallis, Velma
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School Library Journal Review

Two Old Women : An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

School Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 7 Up-Velma Wallis adapted her prize-winning book (HarperPerennial, 1993) from a tale she first heard from her mother, an Athabascan Indian in the Alaskan Yukon. Its transition into audio format is impressive: taken from oral tradition, it's tellable and starkly poetic, while the deep rich voice of narrator Russell Means with his Native American inflections does much to enhance its power and authenticity. The story is compelling. Abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine, two old women are left to perish on their own. Although they've grown used to complaining and letting others do for them, the two resolve not to wait passively for death but to fight against it. With trapping skills they haven't used for years and strengthened by their bond of friendship, the two women survive the winter to ultimately come face to face with the members of their tribe, none of whom has fared as well as they. Utterly convincing in its details and resolution, this will offer listeners in seventh grade and up vivid insight into a Native American culture. At the same time, it rises above the particulars of time and place to become a metaphor with a message or inspiration not only for students, women or the elderly, but for all members of the human race.-Carol Katz, Harrison Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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