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Goodre helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book. James Grant Illustrator. 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 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 Old grannies from Fairbanks Alaska, sweetness and wisdom" Ursula K. Le Guin. Get A Copy. PaperbackTenth Anniversary Editions. Published November 14th by Perennial first published More Details Original Title.
Two old Athabaskan womenCh'idzigyaakSa'. Alaska United States. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please up. To ask other readers questions about Two Old Womenplease up. Book club? Sounds fascinating! Ginger Yes, great book for book club …more Yes, great book for book club less. See all 5 questions about Two Old Women…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 03, Brina rated it liked it Shelves: great-books-womenremarkable-womenmythology.
Over the course of my reading this year, I have come across a of books stressing the importance of age being just a and that just because a person is old, does not make that person weak or enfeebled. A mythological tale passed down orally from generation to generation, Wallis has set a tale that her mother told her into print form as she relates how Over the course of my reading this year, I have come across a of books stressing the importance of age being just a and that just because a person is old, does not make that person weak or enfeebled.
A mythological tale passed down orally from generation to generation, Wallis has set a tale that her mother told her into print form as she relates how two remarkable women saved her Gwich'in people. The Gwich'in people live above the Arctic circle, north of Fairbanks. Winters are brutal and even though the bands of tribes are native to the land, their is a constant struggle to obtain food and survive.
Some of the tribes had even been known to turn to cannibalism. In some situations, when starvation was at its height, tribal leaders made the decision to move and search for a new camp, leaving behind those too weak to assist the tribe in its survival. In each instance, the ones left behind are older women who are viewed as close to death and a burden to the younger, able bodied members of the tribes. The leaders of the Gwich'in people are no different and the tribal chief tells eighty year old Ch'idzigyaak and seventy five year old Sa' that they will have to be left behind as the tribe migrates to obtain food and shelter for the upcoming winter.
Ch'idzigyaak and Sa' decide to conquer their situation as they have both their life experience as hunters and their pride to fall back on. They can either stay rooted to one spot and meet death in the eye or they can make the best of their situation and survive. Although the women are peers, they had never been close as Ch'idzigyaak's life focused around her daughter, whereas Sa' never married and chose to hunt game with the men of her tribe.
Between the two women, they knew enough about hunting, fishing, starting fires, and sewing to survive even the most horrendous of northern Alaskan winters. The women grow close and find out that in the history of both of their tribes, other older women had been left behind to die; yet, the other women had been enfeebled and close to death.
These two women still believe that they have much of their life ahead of them and are emblematic of the fact that age is but a to look at. Old grannies from Fairbanks Alaska this tale was an oral history passed down throughout the generations, Wallis writes this mythical tale as though she was telling. The writing is in a simplistic storytelling style; however, the story is enriching that I was captivated by it. I am usually not a fan of mythology but Wallis' novella is about remarkable women and is an entry in Great Books By Women by Erica Bauermeisterand I have made it a long term goal to eventually read all books listed in this valuable reference tool.
As the baby boom generation ages, the issue of age being a rather than a state in life becomes more and more of timely issue by the day. Wallis has gifted her people and readers with a lovely tale about both the survival of her tribe and about age being just aand a tale I rate 3. View all 18 comments. May 07, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: survival. The universe found a way to get this book into my hands Old grannies from Fairbanks Alaska just the right moment, and for that bit of magic I am grateful.
As I write this, I have been quarantined at home for eight weeks. The other night, weary from reading depressing news articles about the pandemic and American politics, and also tired from worrying and generally feeling that everything is terrible, I set aside my iPhone, with its addictive subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post, and instead grabbed a copy The universe found a way to get this book into my hands at just the right moment, and for that bit of magic I am grateful.
The other night, weary from reading depressing news articles about the pandemic and American politics, and also tired from worrying and generally feeling that everything is terrible, I set aside my iPhone, with its addictive subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post, and instead grabbed a copy of "Two Old Women" from my pile of library books. The paperback was well-worn; it has been repaired with book tape several times, and the due-date card in the front shows nearly 50 checkouts in the last 15 years.
The reason this book was brought to my attention in the first place was because a library employee asked me if we Old grannies from Fairbanks Alaska replace it, considering the poor shape it was in. That conversation about the damaged book happened back in early February — back before I had ever heard the terms "social distancing" or "flatten the curve," back when the NCAA tournament and South by Southwest and even the baseball season were all still on schedule, back when I was still considering whether to plan a trip over spring break in mid-March.
I remember looking at the book, with its aqua-blue cover and a drawing of two people sitting in a kind of teepee, and reading its subtitle: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival. And I had that feeling that I sometimes get when I hold a book in my hands — there was a voice in me saying that I needed to read this book, that I needed to WAKE UP and pay attention to what it has to teach me, and it felt as if this bound collection of s and drawings had willed itself into existence for this very moment.
And so, trusting that feeling, I checked out the well-worn book and took it home, thinking I would find time for it some weekend, or maybe over spring break. And it sat in the library pile, patiently waiting for me while the world changed.
Suddenly I needed to stock up on several weeks of groceries, set up a work space on my kitchen table, transition my in-person class to an online class, and I still had to manage my employees and my library budget and try not to get Zoomed-out during all of those Zoom meetings. Meanwhile, I was neglecting my pile of library books. I was so focused on work and teaching my class and worrying about the state of the world that I didn't think I had room in my brain to read a book.
But then I hit my breaking point the other night and I picked up the aqua-blue library book on top of the pile. I was immediately transported to the Alaskan wilderness, making me forget about my current woes. Now I was focused on the plight of two old women who were abruptly abandoned by their tribe because there wasn't enough food to go around. The two women sat old and small before the campfire with their chins held up proudly, disguising their shock.
In their younger days they had seen very old people left behind, but they never expected such a fate. They stared ahead numbly as if they had not heard the chief condemn them to a certain death — to be left alone to fend for themselves in a land that understood only strength.
Old grannies from Fairbanks Alaska weak old women stood no chance against such a rule. The news left them without words or action and no way to defend themselves. I love wilderness stories, tales about people surviving incredible ordeals, legends about how a person's mettle is tested. This is one of those books, and I was so engrossed I read it in one sitting. The journey of these women was gripping and inspiring, and it was accompanied by some striking black-and-white illustrations that showed the stark challenges the two women faced out on their own in Alaska.
Reading it, I felt as if I were sitting around a campfire, listening to my ancestors pass down the legend of these amazing women who didn't realize how strong and capable they were. Highly recommended. View all 12 comments. During a particularly bitter winter, with food supplies quickly being depleted, the Chief of a nomadic Alaskan tribe does the unthinkable: he utters the words, "We are going to have to leave the old ones behind.
A rush of anger surged within her. How dare they! Her cheeks burned with the humiliation. She and the other old woman were not close to dying! Had they not sewn and tanned for what the people gave them? They did not h During a particularly bitter winter, with food supplies quickly being depleted, the Chief of a nomadic Alaskan tribe does the unthinkable: he utters the words, "We are going to have to leave the old ones behind. They did not have to be carried from camp to camp.
They were neither helpless nor hopeless. Yet they had been condemned to die. It is expected that the two will quickly perish, but instead, using skills learned over a lifetime, they not only survive, but manage to thrive in the harsh, unforgiving environment. This was a quick, and very involving read. For me it was a three-and-a-half star read, but I'll round it up due to the author's positive message about age not being a limit to one's abilities. And, for these great words to live by: ". I say that if we are going to die, my friend, let us die trying, not sitting.
View 2 comments. A classic native legend of two old women surviving the cold winter in the tundra region of Alaska. A perfect quick read to kick off my year of reading Alaska and Canada, and book 1 of Jan 27, Hayat rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone. Shelves: award-winnerbff-sister-like-bondingmemorable-booksshort-storiesinspirationaladventurerepeat-read5-star-rebigotry-intolerance-prejudicedself-discovery.
I loved this tale of betrayal and injustice turned into hope, self-discovery, integrity, survival of extreme situation and friendship Especially because the courageous survivors were two old frail women! Like the younger, more able wolves who shun the old leader of the pack, these people would leave the old behind so they could move faster without the extra burden.
As it is, they are hard-pressed Old grannies from Fairbanks Alaska find food and the group is close to starvation. The solution is to abandon them to their fate: starvation and death. The old women realised that they didn't have to re themselves to old age and all its limitations. They discovered a fighting spirit, determination and the courage to try and achieve the impossible and I loved that!Old grannies from Fairbanks Alaska
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