THE GIRL WHO MARRIED A GHOST by John--Ed. Bierhorst

THE GIRL WHO MARRIED A GHOST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

During the early years of this century, Edward S. Curtis published a 20-volume compilation of North American Indian customs, folklore, and photo-portraits--from which Bierhorst, with his usual judgment and insight, has selected these nine tales and 30 photographs. The stories, chosen for geographic range and thematic variety, are also superior examples of their types: a swift, short trickster tale; an eerie ghost story concerning a living bride in the land of the dead; a colorful moral tale of stern justice done an unfaithful wife; a mythic origin tale, focusing on the journey of two children of the sun. This last story, especially, incorporates numerous folklore motifs, but comes across as an organic piece, not just a string of episodes. As edited here, all the tales have the honed simplicity of traditional storytelling at its best, and Bierhorst has captioned Curtis' sepia-toned photos with lines from the stories, which fit surprisingly well. And if such fairy-tale lines as ""especially the eldest, who was the most beautiful of all"" would be better off unillustrated (especially by the photograph of a plain looking girl), the pictures do radiate that mythic aura of their own to which Bierhorst draws attention.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Four Winds