THE SKULL IN THE SNOW by Toni--Adapt. McCarty


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Fourteen folktales from around the world, with their cultures of origin buffed in an appendix, stylelessly retold by McCarty, chosen for their female heroes, and preceded by a simplistic foreword that fails to recognize the number of subversive feminist folk tales in various cultures. The collection begins instead with a vindictive tale which retells history with early women as the first buffalo hunters, who were created smarter than men and lived in their own tribes. The title story, which comes at the end, is also a tale of revenge--an Eskimo bride kills the husband who has left her to die--but here the woman seems incapable of hunting and must rely on magic to get meat and skins. Several of the stories are of the more common clever wife category, and there are two, ""The Cuckoo"" and ""Daughter of the Moon,"" in which the heroines have traditional feminine roles. There's nothing wrong with showing a variety of situations and responses, but McCarty's approach seems to be both bluntly didactic and lacking in coherent viewpoint or individual taste.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1981
Publisher: Delacorte