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

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Epicenter Press, 1996 - Fiction - 224 pages
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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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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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