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Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer Hardcover – Sep 1 2003


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Hardcover, Sep 1 2003
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books; First Edition edition (Sept. 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888994966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888994967
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 17 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 417 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #464,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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IN the first days and nights and years everything was brought into being. Read the first page
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This is a lovely retelling of this ancient story in more modern verse. It appears to have been well researched and is beautifully presented. The illustrations are in keeping of both the style and language of the telling. I highly recommended it.
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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and accessible April 4 2009
By Ashley Grisso - Published on Amazon.com
Echlin's translation, Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer, is a gorgeous little book. I bought it because I was looking for a rendition of the Inanna myth suitable for middle-school-aged girls. Despite what other Amazon reviewers' wrote, I thought Echlin's translation would embrace healthy female sexuality and serve as an unusually positive influence for girls coming of age. Though I now believe most parents will find Echlin's account too sexually explicit for a pre-teen audience, older girls and women will likely appreciate the accessible language and lovely illustrations, which present a fierce female character who enjoys the pleasures of sex within the context of marriage.

For those unaware, according to most accounts in Greek mythology, a parallel heroine, Persephone, an innocent girl, was sucked into the underground by being raped. While down below, Persephone grew and matured by enduring hardships and trials, and returned to be in the world for half the year as a more enlightened person. More recently, some storytellers say that Persephone stumbled into hell while picking flowers, which serves as a "cleaned up" version suitable for children.

In contrast, the Sumerian Goddess Inanna chose to explore the darkness below in order expand her consciousness. Inanna was a young married deity who discovered guidance and uncovered wisdom during and after her intentional descent to the underworld. As an ancient goddess, Inanna embodied traits we admire today. She was emboldened to make choices about her destiny, explored and appreciated her sexuality, wisely used her intelligence for good, and willingly undertook adventures and self-discovery. She suffered, as all do, but was not a victim (in Persephone's case, a victim of an uncaring, or some would say cruel, father). Therefore, most contemporary women in the West can more readily identify with Inanna and/or see her as a symbol of positive female strength and empowerment.

I highly recommend Echlin's and Wolfsgruber's work for readers familiar with Sumer's Inanna, and for those who enjoy myths but don't yet know of Inanna's grace. Echlin effectively streamlines language from another time for today's reader without losing the myth's integrity. Wolfsgruber's illustrations corroborate Inanna's journey in fresh, vibrant picture-form, which gives us a glimpse of Ancient Sumer. Really splendid!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good guide May 12 2012
By Julie P. Ieronymides - Published on Amazon.com
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I bought every book I could find on Inanna and this was one of the better ones. Well written and well researched
A Great Introduction to Inanna Jan. 10 2014
By Horace Brickley - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book, geared towards young adults and children, is a great introduction to the compelling figure of Inanna. I would recommend reading this and then picking up Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer's "Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth."
10 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Mixed feelings July 2 2008
By I. Mansour - Published on Amazon.com
I come from the land where these stories originated! but I have mixed feelings about the book. The illustrations are great! really took me back to the time when I wandered among old runes with ancient walls and drawings similar to these illustrations, though the coloring is different.
The story is about a goddess in old Sumer. Though I believe in one true God that made life and everything seen and unseen and don't believe in these ancient gods, i enjoyed the drawings. I found the story not very different from other love stories in ancient myths.

My reason to give it 4 stars is:
In some passages the book is written in an explicit language on the subject of sexuality, according to the ancient style of writing on this subject in Sumer and other old civilizations in Mesopotamia. So not suited for children to read from in my opinion! most of Mesopotamia ancient stories like Gilgamesh, have sexually explicit language.

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