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Women of the Kalevala: Stories Based on the Great Finnish Epic [Perfect Paperback]

Mary Caraker


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Book Description

June 1996
Though the voices of women in th eKalevala are muted, their roles are important. Stolen brides, lonely lives on isolated farms-those voices clamor to be heard. Wives, sisters, and daughters have their own stories, often more poignant than those of the men.

Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: North Star Pr of St Cloud (June 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878391061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878391066
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 0.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,786,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mary Caraker has written many books and has another coming out from North Star Press in 2000. She lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, personal characterization of female legends Nov. 10 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback
This author has a gift for taking the elusive, repetitive runes of the Kalevala and weaving riveting personal tales of the women. All too often in many cultures, women are overlooked. The author presents her characterizations in the form of short stories that are highly readable and told from the too often mute woman's point of view.
The 8 tales presented here are not direct quotes from the epic poem, but, are very true in spirit to the collected folk tales. Because of the difference in medium (prose versus verse) the characters have a chance to come to life - Louhi in all her majesty and power, the sad Aino, silly Kylli - times when women were bartered to the men with the most power. You get glimpses into their sad daily lives of hard work, and their all-to-few moments of joy. Who among us can imagine the pain of being a young lady at that time, knowing that you would likely be given to some old, powerful man in marriage? Or the agony of falling in love with someone only to be told that you would be forced to marry another?
For a Finnish-American, I would put this book high on my list of must-reads, mainly because of the clarity it brings to so many of the Kalevala heros and heroines. Culturally, it also gives a clear picture of what daily life for so many was like, and for some, is still like (in the eastern portions of Finland).
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining illumination of the female Finnish psyche Aug. 27 2000
By Mary C Montague - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback
These stories are readable and re-readable and leave the reader hungering for more. This reader has led me to seek out the whole Kalevala in the author's recommended translation. These stories are touching, haunting, and ring ever so true. They opened my eyes to a clearer understanding and appreciation of the Finnish women I have known (mother, grandmother, aunts) in recent generations. Somehow the author has captured the spirit of these real people in these fictional narratives. I found it hard to let go of. I heartily recommend it to one and all, but especially to women of Finnish ancestry and those who might know or wish to know better their Finnish family and psychological heritage.

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