TWO OLD WOMEN:

An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival.

Velma Wallis, who is an Athabascan native, wrote this book. It is based on an Athabascan Indian legend which has been passed from mothers to daughters for many generations.

It tells the shocking story of two old women, ages seventy-five and eighty, of the upper Yukon Valley in Alaska. Because of the shortage of food in a grim Arctic winter, their nomadic tribe abandons them to die.

Both are hurt and angered by this betrayal. They are armed with only the knowledge gained by years of experience and a small hatchet left for them by one’s grandson. The women decide that if they must die, they will ‘die trying.’

Wallis writes with simple elegance. Powerful themes emerge from the story’s bleak premise: friendship, dignity and a strong will. These themes still typify the Alaskan way of life.

June Poucher (June ‘14)adds: “This work combines mythic legend with a modern theme: the graying of America.”

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