MEDICINE WOMAN by Lynn V. Andrews


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Silly feminist semi-fiction, presented as Castaneda-vÉritÉ. This tiresome and ethnographically absurd account tells how trendy Beverly Hills sophisticate Andrews travels to a Cree reservation in Manitoba to be initiated into all sorts of Heavy Indian Lore by a medicine woman named Agues Whistling Elk. The latter is a storehouse of non-denominational native wisdom: she talks casually about kivas, kachinas, ""grandfather peyote button,"" and Quetzalcoatl, despite the fact that all this belongs to tribal cultures thousands of miles to the south. She also passes on to Andrews such philosophical gems as, ""We are travelers of the dimensions. Do not be caught in the prisms of eternity. Start thinking with your stomach. There are two dogs who stand guard in your stomach. Their names in English are jealousy and fear,"" and ""You were blessed tonight, Lynn. Your wolfness is very powerful."" Andrews acquires this lupine strength after months of apprenticeship to Dona Agues. She needs it because she has to do battle with an evil shaman named Red Dog, who is actually a white man and a renegade priest, for possession of a portentous ""marriage basket,"" inevitably symbolic of the mighty female life force. After various hokey adventures she gets the basket and heads back to Southern California, perhaps to lay a little Indian satori on her chic but unempowered friends. The plot creaks, the dialogue drags, and the whole package defies belief.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1981
ISBN: 1585425265
Publisher: Harper & Row