With the publication of Two Old Women, Velma Wallis firmly established herself as one of the most important voices in Native American writing. A national bestseller, her empowering fable won the Western State Book Award in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award in 1994. Translated into 16 languages, it went on to international success, quickly reaching bestseller status in Germany. To date, more than 350,000 copies have been sold worldwide.
Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun follows in this bestselling tradition. Rooted in the ancient legends of Alaska's Athabaskan Indians, it tells the stories of two adventurers who decide to leave the safety of their respective tribes. Bird Girl is a headstrong young woman who learned early on the skills of a hunter. When told that she must end her forays and take up the traditional role of wife and mother, she defies her family's expectations and confidently takes off to brave life on her own. Daagoo is a dreamer, curious about the world beyond. Longing to know what happens to the sun in winter, he sets out on a quest to find the legendary "Land of the Sun." Their stories interweave and intersect as they each face the many dangers and challenges of life alone in the wilderness. In the end, both learn that the search for individualism often comes at a high price, but that it is a price well worth paying, for through this quest comes the beginning of true wisdom.
About the Author
Velma Wallis' career as a bestselling author would have seemed improbable - if not fantastical - to her as a young girl.
Wallis' personal odyssey began in the remote Fort Yukon, Alaska. Having dropped out of school at age 13 to care for her siblings after their father's death, Wallis earned her GED and then surprised friends and relatives by moving into an old trapping cabin 12 miles from Fort Yukon.
For almost a dozen years, she survived by hunting, fishing and trapping - a daring and independent lifestlye that helped define her personal identity.
The now middle-aged author currently divides her time between Fort Yukon and Fairbanks with her three daughters. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1993 Western States Book Award and the 1994 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for "Two Old Women" as well as the 2003 Before Columbus Foundation Award for "Raising Ourselves".