THE CRYING FOR A VISION by
Kirkus Star

THE CRYING FOR A VISION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the Moon of the Grass Appearing (April), the child Waskn Mani, or Moves Walking, sits with his grandmother and the Lakota village chief as the great warrior Fire Thunder returns home from a raid. Hoping that the man has encountered his mother, Rattling Hail Woman, Waskn Mani approaches him. In a fit of anger, Fire Thunder slices off Waskn Mani's ear. Many years earlier, Fire Thunder had courted Rattling Hail Woman and she rejected him. She left the village and, as the she-wolf, Shunkmanitu Tanka, tells the tale, Fire Thunder hunted her and killed her. After incurring the displeasure of the respected fighter, the gentle orphan becomes an outcast in his village, and he must actually flee with his grandmother when he opposes Fire Thunder's bid to be chief. Shunkmanitu Tanka sacrifices herself for Waskn Mani then, just as he will later sacrifice himself to teach his village the proper way to take life and to give life. Filled with myth and mystical encounters, The Crying for a Vision has the presence of an ancient legend. Wangerin (Elisabeth and the Water-Troll, 1991, etc.) employs a magical realism so natural that the reader accepts it without pause or question, as when the narrative is seamlessly taken over by a wolf, or rabbit. The story's cadence is simultaneously familiar and foreign, like another language we have only just discovered we understand. Possibly the best book written for young adults in years; perhaps because there is nothing about it that limits it to that audience.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
Page count: 279pp
Publisher: S&S