Adult Reading Level

SAANII DAHATAAL: THE WOMEN ARE SINGING, poems and stories by Luci Tapahonso. University of Arizona Press, 1230 N. Park, #102, Tucson, AZ 85719. 94 pp., $19.95 cloth, $9.95 paper. 0-8165-1361-9

Shiprock, New Mexico is where Tapahonso, a Navajo, grew up, and it is here where she returns in these thirty-one vignettes. Memories of a pile of rocks where a baby girl was buried, learning to receive morning blessings from fireflys, Navajo cowboys with raisin eyes, or sitting alone and lonely while the rest of the family sleeps, all contain flecks of uncertainty within a mantle of strength. When the emotions rise too far to the surface, Tapahonso escapes to her native tongue. The words will escape those who don't speak Navajo, but they will still understand, as Tapahonso's spellbinding vision turns language barriers into bridges. Highly recommended. Reviewed by: Steve Brock

Tapahonso is also the author of 3 other books of poetry: ONE MORE SHIPROCK NIGHT (1981); SEASONAL WOMAN (1982) and A BREEZE SWEPT THROUGH, 1987. She has co-authored a children's Navajo ABC's book for non-Navajo children.

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Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996

Last Updated:Wednesday, April 10, 1996 - 2:39:21 AM