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Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

Velma Wallis’s award-winning, bestselling tale about two elderly Native American women who must fend for themselves during a harsh Alaskan winter

Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.

Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail, Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women, she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal, friendship, community, and forgiveness “speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom” (Ursula K. Le Guin).

Book Details

Publisher: Epicenter Press
Publish Date: March 1, 2004
ISBN: 9780062244987
Language: English

About the Author

Velma Wallis’ career as a bestselling author may have been destined from the start, but it most likely would have seemed improbable — if not fantastical — to her as a young girl growing up in a remote Alaskan village.

Velma Wallis’ personal odyssey began in Fort Yukon, Alaska, a location accessible only by riverboat, airplane, snowmobile or dogsled. Having dropped out of school at the age of 13 in order to care for her siblings in the wake of their father’s death, Wallis passed her high school equivalency test – earning her GED – and then surprised friends and relatives by choosing to move into an old trapping cabin 12 miles from Fort Yukon.

For almost a dozen years, she survived on what she gathered from hunting, fishing and trapping – a daring and strikingly independent lifestlye during which she struggled to define her personal identity.

In fact, it seems difficult to separate Velma Wallis from the imagery of hardship and the mere pursuit of survival itself – which is actually the underlying theme of her first and widely successful effort as a writer, Two Old Women.

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