Tag Archives: Alaska

Book Club discusses Two Old Women and Native-Alaskan culture

Written by Harold Henkel, Associate Librarian

On Tuesday, October 19, The Library Book Club discussed Two Old Women, by Native-Alaskan writer Velma Wallis. The book is based on a traditional legend of the Athabascan tribe from the Yukon River region of northeast Alaska. Fourteen students, staff, and faculty joined discussion leader Dot Dalton in a thought-provoking conversation about the story. Mrs. Dalton is the Virginia Coordinator for the Native American Resource Network and an honorary member of the Nansemond tribe for her dedication to the preservation of Indian traditions in Virginia. Through her broad knowledge of Native American culture, Mrs. Dalton connected the ancient Alaskan tale with cultural practices that survive to this day among North American Indian tribes. As is customary at Book Club events, participants also enjoyed book-appropriate refreshments, including Indian acorn bread baked by Library staff member Pearl Combs.

There will be two more Book Club events this semester. On November 19, Dr. Bramwell Osula will lead a discussion of No Longer at Ease, by Nigerian master Chinua Achebe; and on December 17, Dr. Corné Bekker will lead a discussion of Life and Holiness, by Thomas Merton. For more information about these or future events, contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu.

Library Book Club reading native Alaskan tale for October meeting

Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival is a classic Athabascan Indian tale of survival, filled with suspense and wisdom, re-told by native-Alaskan writer Velma Wallis. Although based on a traditional legend from the Yukon River region of northeast Alaska, Wallis’s handling of the original story has many resonances with modern themes, such as the empowerment of women and the elderly. Ursula Le Guin writes that the book “speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom.” The book is only 140 pages and can easily be read in a single sitting.

The Library Book Club will discuss Two Old Women on Tuesday, October 19th at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. Dot Dalton, Virginia Coordinator for the Native American Resource Network and honorary member of the Nansemond tribe, will lead our discussion.

For information about this or other Library Book Club events, please contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu.

Coming Book Club selections:

November:  No Longer at Ease, by Chinua Achebe (guest moderator: Dr. Bramwell Osula)

December:   Life and Holiness, by Thomas Merton (guest moderator: Dr. Corné Bekker)