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book cover of Turtle Meat

Turtle Meat

And Other Stories
A collection of stories by

Publisher's Weekly
Bruchac ( Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back ) is perhaps the best - known contemporary Native American storyteller. This slim, highly entertaining volume of 17 original stories touches upon a wide range of Native experiences and spans time from the mythic past to the present. In one story, Indians battle the monstrous Ice-hearts, who turn out to be European invaders clad in shiny armor. The story of Albany mayor Peter Schuyler who was outwitted by a seemingly indolent Native is consonant with African American narratives about slaves getting the better of their masters. In one of the most skillful stories, two Indians from different tribes are recruited during World War II to sneak information past the Germans by talking ''Native American.'' Conversant with different languages, the two are at a loss until they realize they both speak German--but so badly only they can understand it. Three short stories of the Adirondack wilderness (where sounds might be the wind or ''songs from a throat more ancient than most of us care to think much about'') deserve to be singled out. Even on the printed page, Bruchac's tales ring of the oral tradition he helps preserve. His stories are often poignant, funny, ironic--and sometimes all three at once.

Library Journal
Abenaki storyteller Bruchac here presents a beautiful collection of vignettes of contemporary Native life. These stories celebrate the strengths and differences of the Native American people without being the least bit sentimental. Bruchac's images are fresh and his language poetic. For instance, in ''Notes from a Morning of Fishing,'' his narrator reports that after a heavy rain ''the grasses and flowers are still slicked down and just starting to stand--like the protesting cowlick of a boy.'' In ''Bears,'' a young lawyer talks the older Foxy into helping him kidnap a bear from the zoo, since bears and Indians are closely related and the older man speaks the animal's language. In the title story, a loving portrait of an older couple, the man's struggle with a turtle is used as a metaphor for the woman's struggle to control her own destiny. Enthusiastically recommended for short story collections.-- Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati Technical Coll. , Ohio

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-- A thought-provoking collection of original stories, 11 of which have been previously published individually. Bruchac, a Native American storyteller of Abenaki heritage, combines legend, memories, history, humor, realism, and magic in his vivid tales. He subtly leads readers into realizing unexpressed aspects of some of the stories and often disarms them with his humor. The importance of heritage and the call of one's native land figure in many of the selections. The influence of family tradition and the Native Americans' closeness to nature is shown in both ''Jed's Grandfather,'' in which a young boy learns from his dying grandfather, and in ''Fox Den,'' which shows the persistence of nature despite man's best attempts at destruction. There are also tales of fantasy and magic. This is a good blend of well-crafted stories that are deserving of careful analysis. Many will be suited for class discussion and for storytelling and all are worth studying for their cultural history. --Yvonne Frey, Peoria Public Schools, IL

BookList - Gilbert Taylor
With this, his fifteenth volume of woodland Indian lore, Bruchac gathers momentum as a voice worth listening to. He usually speaks to young adults (as in "Native American Stories ), but here pitches his dozen-plus stories to the older generation. Most are set in the Adirondack Mountains, and feature an encounter between a native American's inherited values (e.g., no ownership of land, respect for animist spirits in living things) and the selfishness of white culture. A caricature can result, as in "Wolves," in which a beer-swilling, gun-toting yahoo destroys the sylvan serenity and himself as well. A more effective theme is the intrusion of externals (such as the influence of the city or of ancestors) upon the mystical thoughts of a solitary character who fishes or hunts. Enjoyable both as story and as metaphor, Bruchac's short stories exalt their rustic settings.


Used availability for Joseph Bruchac's Turtle Meat

Hardback Editions

October 1992 : USA Hardback

Title: Turtle Meat and Other Stories
Author(s): Joseph Bruchac
ISBN: 0-930100-48-4 / 978-0-930100-48-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Holy Cow Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

October 1992 : USA Paperback

Title: Turtle Meat: And Other Stories
Author(s): Joseph Bruchac
ISBN: 0-930100-49-2 / 978-0-930100-49-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Holy Cow! Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA