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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. This twentieth anniversary edition includes a new introduction by the author, new afterword by the editor, and a discussion guide for book-group readers.