cover image Mundane's World

Mundane's World

Judy Grahn. Crossing Press, $10.95 (191pp) ISBN 978-0-89594-316-3

Here is a rare and compelling first novel about five girls' special passage into womanhood. These protagonists, all residents of ``Mundane,'' the city of dreamers, are of?pk from four clans that peacefully coexist: the Snake clan, famous for healing and balance, the Bee clan, of water-bearing women and the keeping of measurements, the Lion clan, of animals, movement, transportation and trading, and the Tortoise clan of farming, provision, distribution and record-keeping. This well-written tale of spiritual transformation from a woman's point of view is composed in a poetic style, capturing the tribal rhythm of rituals and of day-to-day living. A lyrical whimsy informs the narrative: ``It was certainly a hum drum society, it was so hum drum, ho hum, dum dedum, dum deedle deedle tweedle dum, humming and drumming, every good time was a clap trap.'' Though the story is told mainly through the eyes of two characters, Ernesta and Jessi-ma, animals, plants and insects contribute their perspectives: ``Spiraling high into the sky for a change of air the fly can see if he is looking that there are four wider streets in the city.'' Poet Grahn is author of Another Mother Tongue.'' (October)