Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Any soul would benefit from the gentle lessons of strength, endurance, friendship and respect contained in this 20th anniversary reissue of an inspiring classic survival tale from the Yukon River Valley. It would make an especially great gift for landmark birthdays in the over-50s crowd. Beautifully and vividly, it brings home abiding truths about aging on the levels of the individual and society.

— From John


Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.

Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail, Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women, she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal, friendship, community, and forgiveness "speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom" (Ursula K. Le Guin).

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062244987
ISBN-10: 0062244981
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013
Pages: 127
Language: English