I ONCE KNEW AN INDIAN WOMAN by Ebbitt Cutler

I ONCE KNEW AN INDIAN WOMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A most unforgettable character, remembered with somewhat inordinate poignancy, both for her remarkable stoicism refined to the point of ""elegance"" and as a symbol of her race -- perhaps ""The last noble savage to be described by an eyewitness."" Madame Dey, an Iroquois woman the author encountered during her summers in a Laurentian village, was indeed an exceptional woman. While mutely enduring the drunkenness of her French Canadian husband and mourning for one of her sons who had run off to California to be a rich woman's ""chauffeur,"" Madame Dey steadfastly refused to associate herself with either the white man's religion or his learning. And, in the climactic incident here, she proves her superior compassion by turning her dilapidated cottage into a funeral parlor for a drowned stranger after the local hotel refuses to accommodate the corpse. Her character would be much more impressive, however, if it weren't presented as the apotheosis of the Indian spirit -- a conceit which should be approached with caution, and which makes this slight story more appropriate for nostalgic adults.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1973
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin