Beyond the Four Corners of the World: A Navajo Woman's Journey

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Knopf, 1995 - Navajo Indians - 343 pages
In this compelling account of a remarkable woman and her struggle to find her place in the world, we follow Ella Bedonie from her childhood tending sheep in the high desert canyons of the Navajo Indian reservation and sleeping on hogan floors to the long, frightening bus ride to boarding school, and on into the white world and a college degree. We meet her grandparents and her parents, who plant corn and worship their gods much as their own grandparents did. We meet her husband and her children, whose lives straddle two worlds - ancient and modern, sacred and profane. As their stories unfold, we come to appreciate the Navajo society into which Ella was born - still in the 1950s an almost nineteenth-century world of visions and spirits, a world ordered by the unambiguous demands of religious tradition and ritual. We see that now, because of the genius of the Navajo culture for incorporating change, it is a world in which the established has made room for the new while at the same time maintaining its unique bond with the past.

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Journalist Benedek returns to the site of her 1992 The Wind Won't Know Me to tell the story of Ella Bedonie, a Navajo woman. Bedonie, a 43-year-old schoolteacher, wife, and mother of three, speaks ... Read full review

Beyond the four corners of the world: a Navajo woman's journey

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This latest work from the author of The Wind Won't Know Me: A History of the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute (LJ 12/92) is a revealing look at a Navajo woman's struggle to retain the culture of her ancestors ... Read full review


My Corn Extends Its Hand to Me
The One Who Was Really Lights Wife
This Is Where I Am Tucked into the Land

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About the author (1995)

Emily Benedek is the author of two previous books, "Beyond the Four Corners of the World" & "The Wind Won't Know Me". Her work has appeared in "The New York Times", "The Washington Post", "Life", "Rolling Stone", "Details", "Harper's Bazaar", "The Utne Reader", & on National Public Radio. She lives in New York City.

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