TURTLE MEAT AND OTHER STORIES by Joseph Bruchac

TURTLE MEAT AND OTHER STORIES

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Native American eco-cosciousness expressed through retellings of legend and myth, tales of the supernatural and of revenge, celebrations of nature and wit all rooted in the often overlooked Northeastern Woodlands cultures. Editor/writer/storyteller Bruchac draws on his Abenaki heritage and brings the eye of poet and naturalist to his first collection. These 17 stories span centuries of Indian/white relations in the Adirondack foothills region of New York State: first contact with "The Ice-Hearts" (Vikings); a war of wits between a Mohican and the mayor of 19th-century Albany;, conflict with Prohibition-era bootleggers; the WW II service of two Indians who find themselves living out their commanding officer's Hollywood-inspired vision; a present day when Indians officially don't exist and people of Native blood--avoiding deadly prejudice--allow themselves to be identified as "Canadian" or "French." The collection is rounded out with some fine, seemingly autobiographical pieces that explore man's relationship to the natural world. Throughout, Bruchac questions the boundaries between animals and men, remembering the distant past when Iroquois women nursed orphaned beaver kits at the breast and, more recently, when farm people kept wild animals as pets. Sometimes people and animals magically change places, but even when boundaries remain, men take life-lessons from wolves, fish, bears, etc. Much of the charm here is in the writing (swallows dart, "stitching the face of the sky") and in the slyly laconic, self-aware humor of Indian conversation. Style, humor, and grace enliven familiar themes; atypical for folkloric writing, most characters emerge three-dimensional and real.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-930100-48-4
Page count: 124pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1992




MORE BY JOSEPH BRUCHAC

FictionLONG RIVER by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac
FictionDAWN LAND by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac
NonfictionTURKEY BROTHER, AND OTHER TALES by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac