Bird Girl and the Man who Followed the Sun: An Athabaskan Indian Legend from Alaska

Front Cover
Epicenter Press, 1996 - Fiction - 224 pages
19 Reviews
With the publication of "Two Old Women, " Velma Wallis firmly established herself as one of the most important voices in Native American writing. A national bestseller, her empowering fable won the Western State Book Award in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award in 1994. Translated into 16 languages, it went on to international success, quickly reaching bestseller status in Germany. To date, more than 350,000 copies have been sold worldwide.

"Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun" follows in this bestselling tradition. Rooted in the ancient legends of Alaska's Athabaskan Indians, it tells the stories of two adventurers who decide to leave the safety of their respective tribes. Bird Girl is a headstrong young woman who learned early on the skills of a hunter. When told that she must end her forays and take up the traditional role of wife and mother, she defies her family's expectations and confidently takes off to brave life on her own. Daagoo is a dreamer, curious about the world beyond. Longing to know what happens to the sun in winter, he sets out on a quest to find the legendary "Land of the Sun." Their stories interweave and intersect as they each face the many dangers and challenges of life alone in the wilderness. In the end, both learn that the search for individualism often comes at a high price, but that it is a price well worth paying, for through this quest comes the beginning of true wisdom."A wonderful read. Wallis's writing is simple yet rich...The story delivers a message of overcoming hardship, of being true to yourself even when it is the most difficult thing to do." "--West Coast Review of Books"


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Review: Bird Girl & the Man Who Followed the Sun: An Athabaskan Indian Legend from Alaska

User Review  - Courtney - Goodreads

I can't give it a 4-star (really liked it) because while it was well-written and a quick read, I only LIKED it. I don't know about anyone else who may have read this, but I was spending quite a lot of ... Read full review

Review: Bird Girl & the Man Who Followed the Sun: An Athabaskan Indian Legend from Alaska

User Review  - Jenreiter - Goodreads

Fascinating and intriguing... A great read! Read full review

Selected pages


Two rebels
A meeting by the river
The chiefs decision
An obedient son
A stubborn daughter
The hunters
The hunted
A race for survival
A child is born
Following a dream
The Land of the Sun
A long journey home
Authors Afterword
About the Gwichin and Inupiat peoples

We have to trust in our future
Life among the enemy
Author Velma Wallis

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About the author (1996)

Velma Wallis was born in Fort Yukon, a remote village of about 650 people in Interior Alaska, near where the Porcupine River flows into the Yukon. Wallis was raised in a tradtional Athabaskan family, one of thirteen children. When she was thirteen, her father died and she left school to help her mother raise her younger brothers and sisters. Later, she passed her high school equivalency exam and moved to a trapping cabin twelve miles from the village, where she learned to live off the land by hunting, fishing, and trapping. Wallis based her first two books, TWO OLD WOMEN and BIRD GIRL AND THE MAN WHO FOLLOWED THE SUN, on the Athabaskan stories her mother told her when she was growing up.

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