The Interpreter

The Interpreter

by Robert Moss
     
 

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A vivid narrative of the clash of cultures on the colonial New York frontier, The Interpreter tells the story of a master shaman and his twin apprentices-the Mohawk dreamer called Island Woman and the young immigrant Conrad Weiser-who become critical players in their two peoples' struggle for survival. Island Woman will grow to become mother of the Wolf Clan of the… See more details below

Overview

A vivid narrative of the clash of cultures on the colonial New York frontier, The Interpreter tells the story of a master shaman and his twin apprentices-the Mohawk dreamer called Island Woman and the young immigrant Conrad Weiser-who become critical players in their two peoples' struggle for survival. Island Woman will grow to become mother of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk nation and a revered atetshents (dream healer). Conrad, transported to North America with the Palatine German refugees from the wars in Europe, helps lead his people's rebellion against the abuses of colonial governors and magnates. Sent to live among the Mohawk, he learns their language and their dreamways, is able to build bridges between communities, and later rises to fame in Pennsylvania as an indispensable Indian interpreter.

In the Mohawk language, the word for interpreter, sakowennakarahtats, speaks of a person who can transplant something from one soil to grow in another. The Interpreter is such a book. Through its pages, we are able to find ourselves in another time, and in other worlds. We accompany the Four Indian Kings on their 1710 visit to London to see the Queen; they were not kings in their own matriarchal society, but they included Hendrick, the redoubtable warrior who later instructed Ben Franklin that he must urge the colonists to unite in a confederacy on the Iroquois model. We travel with Vanishing Smoke, the Bear dreamer, on his journey into the afterlife. And we learn, with Island Woman and Conrad, how we can travel across time as well as space in shamanic lucid dreaming, and guide souls to where they belong.

In his new preface, Robert Moss describes how his Cycle of the Iroquois-Fire Along the Sky, The Firekeeper, and The Interpreter-began with dreams and visions in which an ancient Iroquois arendiwanen (woman of power) insisted on teaching him in her own language, until he was obliged to learn it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The harsh reality, the natural beauty and the mystical wonder of the American frontier is vividly rendered in this spellbinding fictional profile of a genuinely remarkable pioneer ... Painstakingly researched and richly steeped in authentic period detail, the evocative narrative unfolds into a vibrant tale of courage and adventure.— Booklist

"Rich in historical detail and meticulously researched, the narrative skips easily back and forth from the New World to the Old."— Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Reviews
A talky tract that's less historical novel than deadly earnest brief for the previously unheralded notion that the settlement of America's Middle Colonies owed much to a sort of psychic friends network.

In 1710, teenager Conrad Weiser comes to the New World with the Germans who were recruited by England's Queen Anne to populate the desolate province of New York. The refugees from Europe's seemingly endless wars and religious conflicts quickly find themselves oppressed anew, this time by deceitful, avaricious agents of the Crown. Conrad's father Johann soon sends him to live among the Mohawks. A gifted linguist, the pioneering exchange student takes quickly to Indian ways; perceived as an `old soul' by his hosts (whose younger generation is losing touch with the spirits, great or otherwise, as white men overrun their ancestral domain), he's apprenticed to the shaman Longhair, who tutors him in the fine art of dreaming. An apt pupil, Conrad engages in many out- of-body experiences. When not larking with hawks or eagles, he conjures up the site where Captain Kidd buried treasure on Martha's Vineyard. Journeying there in corporeal form, he retrieves gold and jewelry enough to buy his fellow Germans their own land. While he's prepared to continue his visionary studies with the Real People (as Moss's Indians style themselves), Longhair instead sends him home to serve as a bridge between whites and reds. Conrad marries, starts a family, and eventually leads the Germans into the Pennsylvania wilderness, where (with guidance from a supreme being, the Peacemaker, and his avatar Hiawatha) the group establishes a prosperous farming community.

Bad medicine from the usually diverting Moss (The Firekeeper, 1995, etc.), made no easier to swallow by constant prattle about body thieves, death hammers, dreambodies, lifegivers, shapeshifting, soul takers, and timefolders, not to mention the odd anachronism ("She is an arendiwanen, a woman of power. That's something you don't mess with").

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781438443539
Publisher:
State University
Publication date:
04/02/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,253,099
File size:
1 MB

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