A Condor Brings the Sun: A Novel

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Sierra Club Books, 1996 - Fiction - 266 pages
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According to an Andean native legend, a condor carries the sun each day out of a sacred lake and into the sky. In a feat of storytelling imbued with the wonder of that daily miracle, Jerry McGahan opens up the living heart of the ancient Runa culture with the luminous story of Pilar, a young woman from the mountain village of Wasi.
As the living archive of her peoples history, Pilar has memorized twenty-three stories, one from each of tier foremothers in an unbroken line reaching back to the Incas. The ancient lessons for withstanding outsiders -- the "peeled ones" -- suffuse almost every ritual of the Runa. but the arrival of Shining Path terrorists forces them to ask once more how much they are willing to sacrifice to preserve their ways.
When Pilar meets Arnie, an American biologist studying the spectacled bear in Peru, she is already the reluctant protagonist in her own story. Soon, Arnie and his American friends find themselves caught in a bizarre scheme. unable to resist the power of a woman so incomparably certain of who she is and from where she has come.
Against tile backdrop of two cultures, this tale explores the harmony and the conflicts between men and women, tradition and progress, and people and nature. With powerful lyrical prose it delivers great sweeps of time and distance yet also evokes the immediacy of the moment, illuminating the elusive power of beauty and the immutable core of desire.

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A condor brings the sun: a novel

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Pilar lives in 20th-century Peru but embodies an ancient culture, that of the Ruma, a pre-Inca, pre-literate society first subjugated by the Incas, then by the Spaniards, and now attacked by the ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Jerry McGahan has published short fiction in the Georgia Review, Iowa Review, and Northern Lights. He has a Ph.D. in zoology and has written about the Andean condor for scientific journals and National Geographic. He and his wife and children keep bees in Arlee, Montana.

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