Red Swan (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Macmillan, May 1, 1976 - Social Science - 386 pages
2 Reviews
The best of the American Indian myths are works of art, blending form and content into an organic whole in which the great themes of human experience are interwoven much as they are in a memorable short story or novella.  But if the underlying themes are similar, the metaphorical and narrative conventions are vastly different; and it is this aesthetic gap that critic John Bierhorst intends to bridge in this companion volume to his well-known anthology In the Trail of the Wind: American Indian Poems and Ritual Orations.Over forty cultures, including the Eskimo, the Iroquois, the Navajo, the Maya, and the Bororo, are here represented by sixty-four carefully selected myths and tales.  Yet The Red Swan will be valued not so much for its scope or its quantity as for the superb quality of the stories themselves.  Among the classic narratives included are "The Fight of the Quetzalcoatl" (Aztec), "The Rival Chiefs" (Kwakiutl), "The Hungry Old Woman" (Anambe), "Two Friends" (Greenland Eskimo), and "The Red Swan" (Chippewa).A number of the translations, the work of such ethnographers as Franz Boas, James Teit, and George Bird Grinnell, have been left untouched; others have been expertly revised; and some of the selections--all of which deserve to be much better known--appear in English for the first time.

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Review: The Red Swan: Myths and Tales of the American Indians

User Review  - Dusty Deal - Goodreads

The introduction to this book is well worth the read, even if you don't 'get' the stories. In my opinion, the real drawback to this book for most readers is that these stories are literally translated ... Read full review

Review: The Red Swan: Myths and Tales of the American Indians

User Review  - Christopher - Goodreads

I had high hopes for this as someone who is part Native American and perhaps that clouds my judgment. Despite that I found the myths and stories to be inscrutable and found the read to be boring. I ... Read full review


Title Page
The Dream Father
From the Body of Our Mother
The Lure of the Serpent
A Gift of Honey
Tales of

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About the author (1976)

John Bierhorst is a distinguished editor and translator of American Indian literature whose previous books include Doctor Coyote: A Native American Aesop's Fables. He lives in West Shokan, New York.

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