The Animal Wife

The Animal Wife

4.5 2
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
     
 

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Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's first novel, an international best seller, drew praise of the highest kind. "[Reindeer Moon] deserves a place of distinction, right at the head of the line, of the great series of 'historical' novels," wrote the late Joseph Campbell. It was published in fourteen languages and won a Hemingway Award Citation.   The Animal Wife may well… See more details below

Overview

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's first novel, an international best seller, drew praise of the highest kind. "[Reindeer Moon] deserves a place of distinction, right at the head of the line, of the great series of 'historical' novels," wrote the late Joseph Campbell. It was published in fourteen languages and won a Hemingway Award Citation.   The Animal Wife may well rank by its side, for this new novel shares half a world with its predecessor. Whereas Reindeer Moon saw the life of prehistoric humankind through the eyes of Yanan, a gifted but rebellious woman, The Animal Wife, which takes place a few years later, is narrated by young Kori, a marvelous hunter, as prodigious in the chase as he is ignorant of the ways of women. Yet Kori too is confined by his society, interdependent as it is with the world of animals.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's greatest talent is to identify with, to become, an animal, as a great hunter does; and animals provide Kori's people with nearly all their religious and spiritual symbols, nearly all their tools and weapons, nearly everything, except desire. Kori is full of desire and aspiration—the aspiration to be as great a hunter as his father, Swift; the desire for a woman of his own.   Few readers of this book will ever forget the scene in which Kori, hunting in strange country for the site of a mysterious campfire, finds, swimming in a pond, what he imagines to be an animal but which turns out to be a naked woman; acting on instinct only, he instantly abducts her and makes her his wife.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kori, a member of a Paleolithic hunter-gatherer people on the Siberian savanna, captures a woman from a neighboring tribe and finds himself at odds with her radically different language and customs. ``Light years separate Thomas's intelligent, literate fiction from most other novels set in prehistoric times,'' said PW . (July)
Library Journal
The Animal Wife , which is set in Siberia 20,000 years ago, is a companion novel to Thomas's earlier Reindeer Moon (LJ 1/87). It depicts the life of the hunter-gatherer tribes of those plains through the story of Kori, a young male of the tribe. While out hunting, Kori captures a woman from another tribe whom he names Muskrat. Their evolving relationship and the interactions among the family tribe members as they move from their summer grounds to their winter grounds in the constant search for food form the heart of the novel. Thomas is an anthropologist who has used her experiences with the Kalahari bushmen as background. However, this works best as a work of fiction and not an anthropological study; there is much interest and humor in the male-female conflicts. This will be heavily promoted and, while not as steamy, is likely to appeal to Clan of the Cave Bear fans. --Janet Boyarin Blundell, Brookdale Community Coll., Lincroft, N.J.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544129603
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/24/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
289
Sales rank:
589,324
File size:
1 MB

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