The Crying for a Vision

The Crying for a Vision

by Walter Wangerin
     
 

"Waskn Mani's grandmother had seen a fire in the eye of her grandson, the same keen joy his mother had once displayed in the good red and blue days of the past. She did not feel his joy. Neither did she understand it because it had a mystery about it and a complexity. This joy did not produce smiles and laughter, but rather a sacred intensity as if he were thinking…  See more details below

Overview

"Waskn Mani's grandmother had seen a fire in the eye of her grandson, the same keen joy his mother had once displayed in the good red and blue days of the past. She did not feel his joy. Neither did she understand it because it had a mystery about it and a complexity. This joy did not produce smiles and laughter, but rather a sacred intensity as if he were thinking hard in a foreign language. Such constant thinking made the boy seem almost a man. Almost holy. Waskn Mani did not look at the hills and trees as they traveled. He seemed to look through them. And he breathed with a lunging ferocity as if the air were rich and tingling. Ah, the child had some secret in him, some knowledge so deep that even he might not know it was there. This is what caused his grandmother to say that God might have a job for him to do."

Lakota orphan Waskn Mani (Moves Walking), half-child of a star, is a gentle, nature-conscious boy gifted with rare spiritual insight and power. His people are astonished when Moves Walking opposes Fire Thunder, a warrior of great skill and violence whose quest for power will lead to the tribe's spiritual destruction. Only through sacrifice can Moves Walking restore life and hope to his people, and heal their "elemental sorrow -- the anguish of living things when the sacred hoop is broken." Told with extraordinary literary grace and infused with the author's deep love of the Lakota people, this is a timeless tale of good and evil, life and loss, and the transforming relationship that all people of faith can experience with creation and the Creator. Steeped in the culture, history, and legend of the Lakota Sioux, The Crying for a Vision is a novel as majestic as the open plains of the Dakotas.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a starred review, PW said that Wangerin "powerfully conveys the spiritual beliefs and traditions of the Lakota" in this "stirring" adventure of a boy's sacrifice to save his people. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-This complex and absorbing novel of good and evil, sacrifice and redemption, paints a picture of Lakota culture while illuminating universal truths. A too-brief summary would suggest (incorrectly) that the plot is clichd and predictable: a young man, child of a human woman and a celestial being (a star) is chosen (or chooses?) to give his life for the salvation of his people. A comprehensive plot summary, however, is well beyond the scope of a short review, as Wangerin's narrative is both episodic and cohesive, suspenseful and inevitable, densely detailed and fluidly presented. Suffice it to say that the story of Lakota orphan Waskn Mani (Moves Walking) offers readers an unusual opportunity to glimpse a mythic past and enter a world in which the interconnectedness of all beings is emphasized. The dangers of disconnection are made only too obvious by the ravages of war, famine, and despair. Wangerin's use of language is smooth and compelling, complementing the narrative's structure, which resembles an intricate weaving. The story is not told in a strictly linear, chronological fashion, but is created by combining different parts, told from various perspectives. The book's challenging structure, sophisticated vocabulary, and strongly spiritual theme suggest that it will be enjoyed most by thoughtful readers in search of an imaginative, allegorical novel rather than a simple adventure story. Those able to appreciate this masterfully told tale will be richly rewarded.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Anne O'Malley
Waskn Mani is an unusual boy. Unlike his fellow Lakota tribesmen, he takes no pride in hunting animals or making war on neighboring peoples. A gentle soul, he quests for his missing mother and later locks into fierce confrontation with the Fire Thunder, the warlike Lakota leader whose story is bound up with the mysterious disappearance of the boy's mother. Wangerin has woven Lakota legends together to tell an adventure tale of a boy's search for peace and justice. Memorable characters abound--including the tribal elders and the many animals with whom Waskn Mani communicates. The mystical strands of dreams and visions and the heavy use of Lakota language weave a rich tapestry of Native American lore but may slow down reluctant readers--although the lengthy glossary of Lakota word meanings will help. This is a particularly strong addition to historical fiction and Native American fiction and legend collections.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557253422
Publisher:
Paraclete Press
Publication date:
08/28/2003
Pages:
346
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.20(d)

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