I Heard the Owl Call My Name

I Heard the Owl Call My Name

3.0 32
by Margaret Craven

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A place of salmon runs, ancient totems, and a lesson a young vicar must learn....

Amid the grandeur of the remote Pacific Northwest stands Kingcome, a village so ancient that, according to Kwakiutl myth, it was founded by the two brothers left on earth after the great flood. The Native Americans who still live there call it Quee, a place of such incredible


A place of salmon runs, ancient totems, and a lesson a young vicar must learn....

Amid the grandeur of the remote Pacific Northwest stands Kingcome, a village so ancient that, according to Kwakiutl myth, it was founded by the two brothers left on earth after the great flood. The Native Americans who still live there call it Quee, a place of such incredible natural richness that hunting and fishing remain primary food sources. But the old culture of totems and potlatch is being replaces by a new culture of prefab housing and alcoholism. Kingcome's younger generation is disenchanted and alienated from its heritage. And now, coming upriver is a young vicar, Mark Brian, on a journey of discovery that can teach him — and us — about life, death, and the transforming power of love.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rare and beautiful...you'll never be the same again."—Seattle Times

"It has an epic quality...entrancing."—New York Times Book Review

"Memorable.... A shining parable about the reconciliation of two cultures and two faiths."—Christian Science Monitor.

Christian Science Monitor
Memorable.... A shining parable about the reconciliation of two cultures and two faiths.
Monitor Christian Science
Memorable.... A shining parable about the reconciliation of two cultures and two faiths. -- Christian Science Monitor

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.16(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.41(d)
1080L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Craven is a Fitzhenry and Whiteside author.

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I Heard the Owl Call My Name 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven is a novel that shows us the changing of our times and the long path to figuring out where we belong. In it, a young vicar named Mark Brian is moved to a Native American village of the Kwakwala tribe from the city. This tribe is witnessing changes, as the young move towards a more modern life and away from the past traditions, while the old are trying to keep their heritage alive. As Mark arrives, he realizes that he is not particularly wanted there. Although the Indians are polite, there is something that tells him that he is a distant stranger. As he gets to know them by living with them, he realizes that it is people like him that are changing the tribe. The tension created by this situation puts a strain on Mark emotionally. He feels ashamed that ¿his people¿ would do something so cold to this peaceful and beautiful tribe. He tries to voice this to one of the Indians who went to school with the white man, Jim. All that Jim can say is that the way they are acting comes from experience. Mark immediately understands and drops the subject, although the question still lingers in his mind. The novel continues like this, written in very expressive sentences. Craven shows the mood of the camp by lengthening or shortening the sentences. The words that she chooses also allow for the mood to be shown. Her writing style of allowing us to see deeply into what Mark is thinking at the exact moment he thinks it is very rare and unusual. Another rarity of the novel is the subject. There are few novels with this type of recognition about the way the Native American culture has changed and what a painful journey it was, is, and forever will be for the heritage of so many. I feel that it is an extremely important subject to cover, especially since it is hard to see the Native American tribes in their own culture with hardly any influence from the modern world. Although the United States is a mix of many different cultures, each one having to bend and change to fit the lives of the younger generation, not one of them was as painful as the Native Americans¿. To be forced to leave your homeland because people from other countries are coming while being called `savages¿ and `beasts¿ is an excruciating journey that should be reflected on more often. I feel that this novel does that very well and for this, deserves the honors that it has received. I Heard the Owl Call My Name is not only a book about Native Americans and what journeys they have been through as a people, but in a way it shows us a little more about ourselves and how we may perceive our past.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book brings you through the life of a vicar going to an Indian Villiage deep in the jungle. These people live as no time has moved around them. He comes to know them through my trails and learns to love them and their lives. He is sent to help them but finds he is helped so much more. This book shows how two cultures can interact and help one another to find the love and respect that needs to be reached between all peoples.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one that I read once years ago and never forgot. It is a bitter sweet story of life, the world changing, and death in a small native community. Thank you B & N for bringing it out as an ebook.
Eirelinne More than 1 year ago
whose story lasts a lifetime. A beautiful story of family, faith, commitment, acceptance, life, death, and the true meaning of love ... I purchased this book right after it was published; I was a teenager then. I still have my original book. It's dog eared and looks every day its age but it will continue to capture me with its magic when I start to read it as it has for over 35 years.
tigresslilly More than 1 year ago
Beautiful imagery is everywhere within this book. The writing was moving and the characters engaging. Very poignant quiet piece. Possible ott on the concept of the "noble savage", though I thought there was a balance of humanizing and understanding the limits of the culture and lifestyle. Great read over all and really a wonderful book to just enjoy the journey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this little book and have re-read it several times. The setting for the story, the historical facts woven into the story about the customs and culture of NW Costal Indians is almost mystical. The characters are compelling - from the young, idealist vicar to the parents and children struggling to keep their way of life. It's a sad story of loss while also a compassionate story about the beauty and awe of a natural world and people in our past and one I so wish could never change. It instantly puts the reader into a different, magical and comforting place on earth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first, I thought I'd hate this book. But, as I was reading it, I found the characters to be very interesting, and the plot sadly true. I like the way it subtly suggests what's happening, and what will continue to happen, to mankind. Although it may be a little confusing and somewhat slow in some parts, you won't regret reading it. It's a story you won't want to miss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are many people who gave this book negative reviews. After reading said reviews, I realized why. This book requires thought and a reader who understand how to think. Books that are truly worthy or being read are sometimes difficult to understand and, although this book is difficult, it is one of those books that truthfully deserves to be read. It is amazing, it is deep, it is truthful, it is blunt, and it is absolutely beautiful. As an English Teacher, I had my 6th grade students read it (YES 6TH) and when I made them think they too fell in love with the novel. I find it dramatically unfair that anyone would rate this book who has obviously shown they do not want to bother to take the time to understand it. Saying a book is too hard is just an excuse that translates into, "I can't be bothered to think." Reviewers such as this should not be allowed to review excellent literature because they, quite obviously, are not able to see the brilliance behind it. So, to reiterate: beautiful, emotional, thought provoking book. Read it and think about it and you will find it mind-blowing.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing is exceptional. The story is powerful. It is difficult to leave the book alone once started. Not a book for simpletons, the story is complex and and moves scene to scene covering spans of time. Written in a style similar to K. Markandaya or U. LeGuin.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a work of fiction. I found this book hard to under stand in the begining. But, as I reed on I learned more about the characters. The main charictor is Mark Brian who is a young Vicar who is sent to a remote indian vilage. It was confusing in that it in between chapters the author left out to much time and would skip arround making it a chopy read. Also the metaphores used where confusing adding to the strangeness of the book. on the first page of this book there is a docter and a bishop, they are talking abote mark. they are saying that he has three years to live and two of active life. so the bishop says that he will send him to a place that he would have wanted to go to. through the two years mark learns many things like how to hide his amotions. near the end of his two years he dies sudenly in a land slide. I think that if you like history this will give you a glimps of an indians life and culture. A cation to readers is that there may be some ofensive things in the way the people act but it was to be vary belivable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book may have been confusing to the younger minds, but if you have good reading comprehension, you will be fine. This book taught love, death and life, while adding history. Although some of the facts were weary, the author did well with the culture and such. I recommend this book if you have an appreciation for life and death. Not recommended for children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. I think the author has done an excellent job in her writing. She has given a wonderful perspective of life as an Indian and the losing of their culture. Also the involvement of the white man made it meaningful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was okay, this book isn't the best. I found it confusing in the beginning but once it picked up it was all right. I have no choice to read it so I worked my way through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't really know what to say, i don't really like the book at all. But some of the parts are little interesting. The book is reallly kinda boring actually. I don't think i would recomend it. I'm being forced to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wanted to see what they were required to read for school these days. I am soooo impressed! There are so many invaluable lessons to be learned from this precious book. A read for ALL ages & great for discussion......
Guest More than 1 year ago
People who are forced to read may hate it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read it for an Indian Cultures class and for a research paper on the Kwakiutl Indians. There is not a better book out there to gain an understanding of Indian culture and the trials they go through every day. It was well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for school and thought that i'd hate it but i was wrong. it's a great story and anyone who reads for enjoyment will love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read it at least 3 times over the last 20 yrs, and each time I find another part of understanding in the story... I would recommend it to my friends who like this type of reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read I Heard the Owl Call My Name about 8 years ago for a college course. Now, I am teaching high school English and have selected Craven's book for my sophomore class to read. I Heard The Owl Call My Name is a wonderfully sensitive masterspiece. Ever so quietly, Craven touches every heart, bringing laughter, smiles and tears to all. It would be hard not to be a better person after reading it. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ehh, i have to read this book for a book report -.-. wat an awful book, its so hard 2 understand... its like for a super genius 'nerd' to be able to understand the text... which is crazy :\ this book is so boring that i recommend ppl shoudnt buy or read this book.Its a waste of time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 'I Heard The Owl Call My Name' i was quite bored through the whole thing. For younger readers it is difficult to understand what is going on becuase it is so confusing. There isn't many times that something major happens that makes you want to read more. I did in fact finish the book becuase i had to for english, but i would never recommend this book unless you like books that have deeper meanings to them. Also this is a really hard book to write reports on!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, which seemed promising in the beggining, slowly deteriorated into a bumbling mess of fake prophecies and virtutes.I have been forced to read this book by a not -so kindly old honors english teacher, and the only thing that got me through was counting the pages to the end and trying to find the deeper meaning of the book. This read should not be meant for younger readers..as i am.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was the most boring book i have ever read in my entire life, not only was it extremely eye-drooping, but it was hard to understand.