Synopses & Reviews
An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival
Based on an Athabascan legend passed along from mother to daughter for many generations on the upper Yukon River in Alaska, this is the tragic and shocking story--with a surprise ending--of two elderly women abandoned by a migrating tribe that faces starvation brought on by unusually harsh Arctic weather and a shortage of fish and game. The story of survival is told with suspense by Velma Wallis, whose subject matter challenges the taboos of her past. Yet, her themes are modern--empowerment of women, the graying of America, Native American ways.
Twenty years after its first publication, TWO OLD WOMEN continues to be a publishing phenomenon, despite scant national publicity. This word-of-mouth book has been translated into seventeen languages, selling more than 1.5 million copies.
Includes new introduction by the author, new afterword by the editor, and a discussion guide for book-group readers.
Based on an Athabascan legend, this is a story of survival -- of two elderly women abandoned by a migrating tribe that faces starvation brought on by unusually harsh Arctic weather and a shortage of fish and game.
Velma Wallis and her mother were chopping wood at the mouth of the Porcupine River, where it flows into the Yukon, when Wallis first heard the legend of the Two Old Women - an elderly pair's "journey into hardship." Passed from mothers to daughters for many generations, the ancient story of abandonment is tragic and shocking but comes with a surprise that will lighten your heart. In 1993, Velma Wallis's retelling of the legen in book form challenged her people's oral traditions and revealed old taboos, yet revealed universal themes. Ten years after the first edition, Two Old Women has been translated into seventeen languages, sellingmore than one million copies. Today, the legend is still being passed between mother and daughter, and from sister to sister, with its hopeful lesson for us all.
Velma Wallis is one of Alaska's bestselling authors. One of thirteen children, she was born in Fort Yukon, a small Gwich'in Athabascan community at the confluence of the Porcupine and Yukon rivers. She and her family live in Fairbanks, Alaska.
About the Author
Velma Wallis is Alaska's contemporary bestselling author. She was born in Fort Yukon, Alaska, one of thirteen children. She is the author of BIRD GIRL AND THE MAN WHO FOLLOWED THE SUN and RAISING OURSELVES.