Read online or download a free book: The Last Matriarch: A Novel
Publisher: HorseShoe Books (23 Sept. 2016)
By: Sharman Apt Russell (Author)
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Over eleven thousand years ago the plains of the great Southwest were covered with sweet long-season grass and inhabited by camels, bison, mammoths, dire wolves, and the hunter gatherers we now call the Clovis people. This story of Willow, Jak, Etol, and their clan takes place in a land that we unconsciously recognize, and shows us people whose needs, hopes, and fears are our own. They live in a world where communication with animals, plants, and even stones is not only possible but essential for survival. Willow's life path echoes that of Half Ear and Red Fur, the matriarchs of the woolly mammoth herd. By joining their stories, Russell explores an archaeological puzzle: the extinction of nearly eighty percent of large land mammals at the end of the Pleistocene. The meaning of being human lies at the heart of the puzzle. Russell's imaginative reconstruction of the world of Willow and her clan illumines the tribal self--the basket maker, the mammoth hunter, the healer, the shaman--that still lives in each of us. “:Books like this can teach us not only the facts of the Paleolithic past, but also allow us to share the experiences of our ancestors. The Last Matriarch does them both and does them beautifully.”:—:Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of 'Reindeer Moon' “:The Last Matriarch stands out as one of the few novels of ancient human life that are both credible and literary. Russell gives us realistic characters with both strengths and weaknesses, with ambitions, hopes, fears, tragedies, and pleasures. She has succeeded wonderfully.”:—:Margaret Conkey, co-author of 'Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory'
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