Butterfly Moon: Short Stories

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University of Arizona Press, Sep 20, 2012 - Fiction - 149 pages
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Anita Endrezze has deep memories. Her father was a Yaqui Indian. Her mother traced her heritage to Slovenia, Germany, Romania, and Italy. And her stories seem to bubble up from this ancestral cauldron. Butterfly Moon is a collection of short stories based on folk tales from around the world. But its stories are set in the contemporary, everyday world. Or are they?

Endrezze tells these stories in a distinctive and poetic voice. Fantasy often intrudes into reality. Alternate “realities” and shifting perspectives lead us to question our own perceptions. Endrezze is especially interested in how humans hide feelings or repress thoughts by developing shadow selves. In “Raven’s Moon,” she introduces the shadow concept with a Black Moon, the “unseen reflection of the known.” (Of course the story is about a witch couple who seem very much in love.) The title character in “The Wife Who Lived on Wind” is an ogress who lives in a world somewhat similar to our own, but only somewhat. “The Vampire and the Moth Woman” reveals shape-shifters living among us. 

Not surprisingly, Trickster appears in these tales. As in Native American stories, Trickster might be a fox or a coyote or a raven or a human—or something in between. “White Butterflies” and “Where the Bones Are” both deal with devastating diseases that swept through Yaqui country in the 1530s. Underneath their surfaces are old Yaqui folktales that feature the greatest Trickster of all: Death (and his little brother Fate).

Enjoyably disturbing, these stories linger—deep in our memory.

 

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Contents

On This Earth
1
Constellation of Angels
5
Ravens Moon
11
White Butterflies
30
Where the Bones Are
37
Belles Gift
44
Painted Lady
63
Owl Woman
69
Choices
83
Jay Devilmaycare
91
The Snow Queen
99
The Vampire and the Moth Woman
118
The Wife Who Lived on Wind
127
The Dragonflys Daughter
131
Authors Note
147
Copyright

A Sincere Profession
74

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About the author (2012)

Anita Endrezze is a poet and an artist as well as a writer of prose. Her recent books include Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon, also published by the University of Arizona Press, Breaking Edges, and At the Helm of Twilight, which won the Bumbershoot/Weyerhaeuser Award.

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