Books by Marilyn McFarlane

SACRED MYTHS by Marilyn McFarlane
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

Subtitled ``Stories of World Religions,'' this is a flashy but piecemeal collection of 35 short myths, legends, and folktales, all drawn from—or shoehorned into—seven living traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, generic Native American, and Sacred Earth, the ``Earth-centered movement that has developed in the late twentieth century [called variously] Paganism, Neo-Paganism, Wicca, Goddess Religion, Eco-Feminism, New Age Spirituality, the Old Tradition. . . . '' Every creed is introduced with an account of its history and values, plus a characteristic version of the Golden Rule, followed by retellings of incidents from the lives of its prophets and leaders, and well-known episodes from its literature or tradtions. The stories neither uniformly show the Golden Rule in action, nor in their brevity communicate any but the most superficial sense of their traditions. The dazzling, obtrusive design features photo collages for a dramatic but abstract effect; not all of the images are well-chosen (a figure from Japanese art illustrates a story from Tibet), and many are digitally manipulated almost beyond recognition. The writing is unforced and aptly formal, but McFarlane paraphrases biblical and other authoritative texts without explanation, and cites specific sources for very few of the selections. Stick with more focused collections, such as Virginia Hamilton's In The Beginning (1988). (glossary, pronunciation guide, further reading) (Anthology. 9-12) Read full book review >