writer

Scarlet Feather

1943

'I think that of all the lives I can remember, the most concise and effective instructions for living I have learned was when I was a pre-historic North American Indian: they believed that only one question needs to be answered before you could enter their Heaven – the 'happy hunting grounds'.

The question was: ‘How many people are happier because you were born?'
Joan Grant from Speaking from the Heart


Piyanah, the heroine of Scarlet Feather, is a member of a Native American tribe that has strayed from its noble heritage. Her clairvoyant mother refuses to accept the brutality of the tribe's laws and the segregation of men from women, so Piyanah and her cousin Raki grow up as outsiders. When she learns that her father is Chief Na-ka-check, Piyanah chooses to defy tradition and train as a Brave, overcoming daunting physical and spiritual challenges. Meanwhile Raki learns from the squaws, gaining female knowledge and empathy.

An exciting and unusual love story, Scarlet Feather is a clarion call for the emancipation of the sexes: 'the motive behind the book was one I felt very deeply: "What experience do I have which best demonstrates a sound relationship between men and women?"'


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1907-1989
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