Food and Spirits: Stories

Beth Brant, Author Firebrand Books $8.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-932379-92-4
Most of these sensitive, engaging tales set in Canada explore the private tragedies and triumphs of Native Americans. The exception, ``This Is History,'' offers a woman-focused account of the origins of Turtle Island (the Earth) in which Sky Woman (the moon) and her daughter/companion First Woman share the ``naming'' tasks central to creation tales. In ``Wild Turkeys,'' a woman visiting her hometown is shaken when a chance encounter brings back vivid memories of an abusive relationship she fled. The title story tells of 80-year-old Elijah Powless, determined to see his twin granddaughters in the ``big city.'' Armed only with innocent charm and a bag of homemade fry bread, he travels to Detroit, making friends and allies of all whom he meets. Several of Brant's ( The Mohawk Trail ) stories consider the need to come to terms with death: in ``This Place,'' a medicine man whose ``good medicine'' ranges from butter tarts and old Hank Williams songs to a snakeskin and chanting helps a gay man afflicted with AIDS find the courage to ``see death coming and run to meet it.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Hardcover - 125 pages - 978-0-932379-93-1
Paperback - 125 pages - 978-0-88974-032-7
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