Sunday, January 08, 2006

My review ...

... of James Freeman's Ishi's Journey is here. And here's an Ishi Page.


  1. Unless we were born into a native culture from this continent, we are in many respects alien to its nature as our culture invades and consumes it, and spend our lives either avoiding or seeking its wisdom in a place of our own.

    So we can be naturally drawn to stories of natives that plumb the deeper recesses of spirit and consciousness invested in this land and its spirit. Sometimes the facts of native peoples as eminently described in ethnographic works are simply not enough to imbue our minds with an original, native viewpoint.

    So a novel like Ishi's Journey by James Freeman, beautifully and keenly written based on the facts of this Yahi man's life, but writing from within the man and his inner experience, allows us to live and feel as he did, as much as possible. It presents a more personal understanding of this man and his story than is possible from a purely historical account. Read this book to feel Ishi's world as he learns to live as best he can in his tragic role as the last of his people.

    It is heartening to find this wonderful book reviewed here as it now reminds me of its power to move me when I read it so many years ago. One for the ages. Give it to your kids when they are ready.

  2. I had the same feeling as I was reading it: A great book for kids either to read or have read to them.

  3. Wonderful review about a book and a person and a people who may well have known some things we do not yet know...