THE ABDUCTION by Mette Newth
Kirkus Star


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A harrowing but finely wrought reconstruction of cruel events unfamiliar to most Americans--the 17th-century kidnapping by Norwegian traders of Inuits in Greenland. Osuqo, her father, and Poq, her promised husband, are lured onto the strangers' boat to trade. The father is brutally murdered; and Osuqo is repeatedly raped on the voyage back to Norway, where she and Poq are reviled as animals, insane, heretics, and witches. They are kept in prison until the day they finally escape to a death of their own choosing, and in accordance with their own beliefs--setting out for their homeland by kayak. Newth alternates between a third-person account of Osuqo's experiences--including some beautifully telling reminiscences of her earlier life in Greenland--and the first-person account of Christine, a young servant who is given the task of guarding the Inuits in prison, and does her best to champion them at great risk to herself. The wisdom and dignity of the Inuit ways shine through the unspeakable humiliation of these two who--even after their captors have ""stolen everything! . . .Our thoughts, our gods, our past""--still have the courage to resist the European will to ""shape us in their own image."" An unforgettable dramatization of what the author calls, in a moving afterword, ""a clash of cultures. . .it is equally a meeting of reason and unreason. . .Today--as well as yesterday.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1989
Page count: 248pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux