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Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun (1996)

af Velma Wallis

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1762120,577 (3.74)5
With the publication of Two Old Women, Velma Wallis firmly established herself as one of the most important voices in Native American writing. A national bestseller, her empowering fable won the Western State Book Award in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award in 1994. Translated into 16 languages, it went on to international success, quickly reaching bestseller status in Germany. To date, more than 350,000 copies have been sold worldwide. Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun follows in this bestselling tradition. Rooted in the ancient legends of Alaska's Athabaskan Indians, it tells the stories of two adventurers who decide to leave the safety of their respective tribes. Bird Girl is a headstrong young woman who learned early on the skills of a hunter. When told that she must end her forays and take up the traditional role of wife and mother, she defies her family's expectations and confidently takes off to brave life on her own. Daagoo is a dreamer, curious about the world beyond. Longing to know what happens to the sun in winter, he sets out on a quest to find the legendary "Land of the Sun." Their stories interweave and intersect as they each face the many dangers and challenges of life alone in the wilderness. In the end, both learn that the search for individualism often comes at a high price, but that it is a price well worth paying, for through this quest comes the beginning of true wisdom.… (mere)
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Read shortly after Velma Wallis's Two Old Woman, which is one of my favorite folk-legends of all time, Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun suffered somewhat by comparison. A Gwich'in Athabaskan folk epic, it follows the dual narratives of two rebels: Bird Girl, who prefers male activities like hunting, and who does not wish to be married; and Daagoo, a man who loves to wander, and dreams of finding the Land of the Sun, said to be far to the south...

This is a story whose cultural import quickly becomes clear, as it seeks to reconcile the needs and desires of the individual with that of her society. The adventures of the two main characters, their journeys away from their people, and their eventual return, has a neat symmetry to it. I found it appropriate and satisfying that the two rebels eventually find one another.

Well-written and informative as it may be however, I found that I could not enjoy Bird Girl quite as much as the author's earlier title, which is more of a reflection of my own opinions and emotional state, I would imagine, than the book's actual merit. Perhaps I was hoping that Bird Girl's narrative would offer more of an affirmation of her individual needs than it did, or perhaps my emotional reaction to her mistreatment at the hands of the Inupiaq colored my judgment, but I could not help being somewhat disappointed that her "punishment" was so severe. The folklorist in me is well aware that I am superimposing my own personal and cultural values onto the story, but there you have it... Despite my personal ambivalence however, this was a fascinating and engaging story, and well worth the reader's attention. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 20, 2013 |
Wallisin kahdesta atapaski-legendasta koostama tarina on yhteisön ja kulttuurimuodon kuvauksessaan mielenkiitoinen joskaan ei mitenkään erityisen omaperäinen. Heimojen ja tapojen kuvaus on toki kiinnostavaa mutta ei mitenkään erityisen yksityiskohtaista. Ihan hyvä lisä aiheesta kiinnostuneelle silti. Kaunokirjallisesti vähän turhan "helppo" kirja. ( )
  hepsodus | Jul 31, 2007 |
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With the publication of Two Old Women, Velma Wallis firmly established herself as one of the most important voices in Native American writing. A national bestseller, her empowering fable won the Western State Book Award in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award in 1994. Translated into 16 languages, it went on to international success, quickly reaching bestseller status in Germany. To date, more than 350,000 copies have been sold worldwide. Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun follows in this bestselling tradition. Rooted in the ancient legends of Alaska's Athabaskan Indians, it tells the stories of two adventurers who decide to leave the safety of their respective tribes. Bird Girl is a headstrong young woman who learned early on the skills of a hunter. When told that she must end her forays and take up the traditional role of wife and mother, she defies her family's expectations and confidently takes off to brave life on her own. Daagoo is a dreamer, curious about the world beyond. Longing to know what happens to the sun in winter, he sets out on a quest to find the legendary "Land of the Sun." Their stories interweave and intersect as they each face the many dangers and challenges of life alone in the wilderness. In the end, both learn that the search for individualism often comes at a high price, but that it is a price well worth paying, for through this quest comes the beginning of true wisdom.

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