I Heard the Owl Call My Name

Written by: Margaret Craven

I Heard the Owl Call My Name Book Cover
In a world that knows too well the anguish inherent in the clash of old ways and new lifestyles, Margaret Craven's classic and timeless story of a young man's journey into the Pacific Northwest is as relevant today as ever.

Here amid the grandeur of British Columbia stands the village of Kingcome, a place of salmon runs and ancient totems - a village so steeped in time that, according to Kwakiutl legend, it was founded by two brothers left on earth after the great flood. Yet in this Eden of such natural beauty and richness, the old culture of totems and potlaches is under attack - slowly being replaced by a new culture of prefab houses and alcoholism. Into this world, where an entire generation of young people has become disenchanted and alienated from their heritage, Craven introduces Mark Brian, a young vicar sent to the small isolated parish by his church.

This is Mark's journey of discovery - a journey that will teach him about life, death, and the transforming power of love. It is a journey that will resonate in the mind of readers long after the book is done.
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I Heard the Owl Call My Name Reviews

Aberdeen
A new favorite. One of the best books I've read this year. How on earth did I not hear about it before?

It's a slim book, with sparse writing, as crisp and clean as the cold, pure water of the river flowing by the ancient native American settlement of Kingcome in British Columbia. Mark Brian, a young vicar, doesn't know it, but he has a heart condition that gives him less than three years to live. His bishop sends him to Kingcome to patrol the villages around it, acting as a priest, doctor, handy A new favorite. One of the best books I've read this year. How on earth did I not hear about it before?

It's a slim book, with sparse writing, as crisp and clean as the cold, pure water of the river flowing by the ancient native American settlement of Kingcome in British Columbia. Mark Brian, a young vicar, doesn't know it, but he has a heart condition that gives him less than three years to live. His bishop sends him to Kingcome to patrol the villages around it, acting as a priest, doctor, handyman, and connection to the outside world to the Native Americans there.

The descriptions of the breathtaking wildlife permeated the story, depicting how integral nature is to the Indians’ way of life. The Native American myths and traditions were fascinating and woven in seamlessly to the story, just as they would be in real life.

With tenderness, empathy, and honesty, Craven depicts a history crumbling, the painful clash of cultures and perspectives between young and old as different generations grapple with and respond to the encroaching modern way of life and the infiltration of white men into their once secluded strip of the world. A deep sadness permeates the book, as it does the eyes of the Indians in it. And yet there is grace and hope, too. The combination made me want to weep.

I love stories of growth, both individually and in communities. I love stories of an outsider trying to understand the people he is living with. I love stories about living in the light of death. I love stories that wrestle with change and culture clashes and that show broken, real people on both sides of the issue. I don't know, this book moved me profoundly and I'm still trying to put my finger on why. It is beautiful and powerful and subtle, sorrowful and hopeful at once. Read it.

And it seemed to Mark that the river was life itself, flowing by the village with all its wonder and its agony.
Newreader Nancy
This book turned out to be better than I thought it would be. A priest is sent to an isolated Indian village as a challenge to him prior to his dying from a disease. He arrived as a stranger but as he got to know the Indians, they also got to know him and welcomed him into their closed society.
Mary
I was reminded of this book today when I read a friend’s review. I need to go looking for it again. I read I Heard the Owl Call My Name in the 70’s and it’s message has stuck with me for the past 40 plus years. A beautiful and moving story.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet :: The Stranger :: The Prophet of Yonwood :: The Moorchild :: Skellig
Brandon Bond
I Heard the Owl Call My Name is a wonderful book for everybody to read. Mostly for teenaged kids learning about responsibility and how to be a good, helpful person. In the book, Mark is sent to a native American village to teach them the ways of Christianity. While he is there, he helps them by building things, by doing other labor work and by talking to the natives. The childeren are getting ready to leave the village to go to school and become citezens of the United States of America so Mark h I Heard the Owl Call My Name is a wonderful book for everybody to read. Mostly for teenaged kids learning about responsibility and how to be a good, helpful person. In the book, Mark is sent to a native American village to teach them the ways of Christianity. While he is there, he helps them by building things, by doing other labor work and by talking to the natives. The childeren are getting ready to leave the village to go to school and become citezens of the United States of America so Mark helps out the elderly and the parents of the childeren by making them more comfortable with letting go of the childeren. By reading this book, you may learn and develop a higher understanding of what it takes to be committed to certain tasks and your way of life. Also, it teaches you what it takes to live a good, hard life and die triumphantly for it. I Heard the Owl Call My Name is a great eye opener for childeren who have everything they need and do not realize what it is like to have to work for every single thing that you need. This is what Mark has to go through when he goes to live with the natives. He is so used to having everything handed to him without hardly any work that it takes him a while to get used to doing everything on his own. He does end up getting used to it and he is very thankful for everything that he has to work for while he is there.
Erin
Wonderful book. Here are some of my favorite passages:

"There were two kinds of naïveté, he said. . . ; one not even aware of the problems, and another which has knocked on all the doors of knowledge and knows man can explain little, and is still willing to follow his convictions into the unknown." p. 42

"You suffered with them, and now you are theirs, and nothing will ever be the same again." p. 91

"I am afraid some of my best parishioners will end up in the gutter."
"The church belongs in the gutt Wonderful book. Here are some of my favorite passages:

"There were two kinds of naïveté, he said. . . ; one not even aware of the problems, and another which has knocked on all the doors of knowledge and knows man can explain little, and is still willing to follow his convictions into the unknown." p. 42

"You suffered with them, and now you are theirs, and nothing will ever be the same again." p. 91

"I am afraid some of my best parishioners will end up in the gutter."
"The church belongs in the gutter. It is where it does some of its best work." p. 104

"There's a good bit of agnostic in all of us. . . . None of us knows much--only enough to trust to reach out a hand in the dark." p. 139

"How would he live again in the old world he had almost forgotten, where men threw up smoke screens between themselves and the fundamentals whose existence they fear but seldom admit? Here, where death waited behind each tree, he had made friends with loneliness, with death and deprivation, and, solidly against his back had stood the wall of his faith." p. 151
Dale
A wonderful book - it creates a world for the reader...

...and at the end, you are sad to leave it.

For me, when I read an absolutely excellent novel, I have a hard time getting into another one - you end up rejecting the new one because it's not as good as the last one. This is one of those novels for me. So, I guess I'll be cleansing the reading palate with a few magazines.

I first read this novel when I was 14 or 15 years old. I haven't thought about it for years until I came across it at a A wonderful book - it creates a world for the reader...

...and at the end, you are sad to leave it.

For me, when I read an absolutely excellent novel, I have a hard time getting into another one - you end up rejecting the new one because it's not as good as the last one. This is one of those novels for me. So, I guess I'll be cleansing the reading palate with a few magazines.

I first read this novel when I was 14 or 15 years old. I haven't thought about it for years until I came across it at a book sale and picked it up on a whim. I approached re-reading it with some trepidation - I was afraid that it would not be as good as I remembered and I would be disappointed.

Well, it wasn't as good as I remembered - it's much better! Age and experience make you appreciate some things better, I suppose.

Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2011/...
Nick Valdes Narwhal Valdes
I rated my book a four out of five stars. I chose because the overall idea of the book I thought was pretty interesting, and I really enjoyed how the book made you think a little. Another reason I enjoyed this book was that I was constantly popping pictures in my head, and visualizing what was going on. The book had enough detail to do that without me even knowing, it just kind of happened. But the reason I didn’t give it a five was that the beginning of this book, I thought, was very slow to g I rated my book a four out of five stars. I chose because the overall idea of the book I thought was pretty interesting, and I really enjoyed how the book made you think a little. Another reason I enjoyed this book was that I was constantly popping pictures in my head, and visualizing what was going on. The book had enough detail to do that without me even knowing, it just kind of happened. But the reason I didn’t give it a five was that the beginning of this book, I thought, was very slow to get started and get hooked.
I feel that the strengths of this book were the details used throughout the novel, the descriptions were crystal clear. I also thought the use of the Indian culture in the book. It made you look at things in a different way.
If I had to, I think I would read another book by this author if it had a similar plot or story line. I enjoyed the the story and the characters and the way they interacted
Carol Douglas
This is the lyrical story of a dying Anglican priest whose bishop sends him to a Native village in Canada's Northwest waters. The priest does not know he is dying. The bishop believes that living in the village will teach him what life is like.
The villagers are clinging to the their way of life. Most other white men despise it, but the priest does not. He respects their beliefs and accommodates their rituals. He develops deep, generally unspoken relationships with them.
Young people face the c This is the lyrical story of a dying Anglican priest whose bishop sends him to a Native village in Canada's Northwest waters. The priest does not know he is dying. The bishop believes that living in the village will teach him what life is like.
The villagers are clinging to the their way of life. Most other white men despise it, but the priest does not. He respects their beliefs and accommodates their rituals. He develops deep, generally unspoken relationships with them.
Young people face the challenge of whether to leave their way of life to get the white man's education and make a living in new ways, or to stay with everyone they know and preserve their culture. The choices is agonizing, both for the young people and the older villagers.
The writing is lyrical. Having seen some of the beautiful waters and forests in the area made the book more meaningful for me.
Megha
Picked this book randomly at a sale. While I was approaching the end of the book, I thought I will let this book be unrated on my goodread's shelf. I was unable to make up mind between 3 & 4 stars. This book is more than 3 stars but not 4 and so thought best to keep unrated.

The book is short and the language easy, yet at times I was finding trouble because of the paras describing a landscape that I couldn't imagine, it was my limitation and not the book's. Also I don't much favor physical de Picked this book randomly at a sale. While I was approaching the end of the book, I thought I will let this book be unrated on my goodread's shelf. I was unable to make up mind between 3 & 4 stars. This book is more than 3 stars but not 4 and so thought best to keep unrated.

The book is short and the language easy, yet at times I was finding trouble because of the paras describing a landscape that I couldn't imagine, it was my limitation and not the book's. Also I don't much favor physical description. Conversely, the emotions were less descriptive which I favor.

However, even without having emotions written explicitly, by the end of the book, the native American Indian village, the people and their loneliness, their relation to nature was imprinted on my mind. I believe I understood the unsaid or unwritten emotions. This is a beautiful book and the end made me cry.
Maggie
I read this book for the first time when it was about ten years old and I wasn't many years older. I loved it then, and I still do. It is the story of a young vicar who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness, and only a short time to live. Instead of telling the vîcar the bad news, his bishop sends him to the remotest and most challenging post he had to offer so that he could learn quickly and deeply the most important of life's lessons.

I love the book for its gentle, peaceful acceptance of the I read this book for the first time when it was about ten years old and I wasn't many years older. I loved it then, and I still do. It is the story of a young vicar who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness, and only a short time to live. Instead of telling the vîcar the bad news, his bishop sends him to the remotest and most challenging post he had to offer so that he could learn quickly and deeply the most important of life's lessons.

I love the book for its gentle, peaceful acceptance of the beautiful and the not so beautiful aspects of life. I also loved the glimpse of another culture's way of thinking and of the simpler way of life with the Indians of the Pacific Northwest.
Thelastsnowflake
This is a fairly short read. The language was absolutely beautiful. It was simple but created clear imagery of a time and place. You could almost smell the trees and feel the cool mist. It was very captivating.

I think that I related to it because it's about Native Americans but I think that anyone has the chance to relate to it because of it's deeper meaning of what it is to strip down to the bare minimums. To get back to nature and what is really important. To have respect for the past, your e This is a fairly short read. The language was absolutely beautiful. It was simple but created clear imagery of a time and place. You could almost smell the trees and feel the cool mist. It was very captivating.

I think that I related to it because it's about Native Americans but I think that anyone has the chance to relate to it because of it's deeper meaning of what it is to strip down to the bare minimums. To get back to nature and what is really important. To have respect for the past, your elders, culture, customs and traditions. It's another book about finding yourself which I'm really into.
Hilary Lang Greenebaum
Be prepared, this slim little book may take you by storm! I do not often cry when I finish a book. When I finished this one, I wept. It is so beautiful; with much love, grace and dignity among villagers. I can see and feel the wet Pacific North West, the various boats, and the hard work of navigating up and down, in and out of the inlet. This is a quick read but savor it and think about it, I'm rereading it already!
Toddie
Very quiet, lovely, poignant novel about a vicar who is sent to live among a tribe of Indians and who grows to love them and be accepted as one of them. This is a fast read, but surprisingly moving. I loved it.
Luisa
Absolutely phenomenal book! Margaret Craven weaves a captivating story of acceptance, love and belonging through brief vignettes between a Kwak'wala community and a young vicar. Profoundly moving work. So, glad I came across it!
Laura
Fantastic book, beautifully written. A warm hearted relationship between a missionary pastor and an Indian tribe I the pacific northwest. He finds the true meaning of love and life among the poverty.
Lora
Lovely short read with quiet warmth, sadness, and humanity. Very Autumn-like in its way.
Tammy
One of those books that when you read in middle school - you will never forget.
Libby
I'd have to read this book again to give it a thorough review, but I don't think that will happen any time soon. The idea that the main character is dying and doesn't know it but everyone else does turned me off before I even started reading it. 50 years ago that may have been an acceptable plot device - it was common in books, movies, TV shows - even Gilligan's Island used it when Mary Ann thought she'd eaten poisonous mushrooms - but I never liked it. Nowadays it's just creepy. It breaks every I'd have to read this book again to give it a thorough review, but I don't think that will happen any time soon. The idea that the main character is dying and doesn't know it but everyone else does turned me off before I even started reading it. 50 years ago that may have been an acceptable plot device - it was common in books, movies, TV shows - even Gilligan's Island used it when Mary Ann thought she'd eaten poisonous mushrooms - but I never liked it. Nowadays it's just creepy. It breaks every rule HIPAA every stood for and it's completely unrealistic. It was hard to enjoy the story when I spent the whole time wondering how my employer would know I had a fatal illness when I did not. Even if she stole my DNA, she could only identify genes, not diagnose an illness. And if my doctors told her and not me, you can bet there would be a lawsuit.
Jean Carlton
I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in a native culture so different from the white man's. I have long been drawn to how much I can learn from those with a different approach to life... and death, especially the philosophy of native peoples.
I saved many beautiful and poignant passages"
"From the dark spruce he heard an owl call - once, and again - and the questions that had been rising all day long reached the door of his mind and opened it."

Craven says much in simple words and 159 pages.
Richard Dinter


I thoroughly enjoyed this gentle little tome. The multilayered discussion of the inevitability of death for individuals and societies was refreshing. They DID go gentle into the night. The sadness was palpable but no sense of outrage or victim hood. It was also nice to read a book in which human pathology was acknowledged but not wallowed in. Finally the message of making small impacts upon individuals instead of sweeping programmatic interventions resonated with me!
Thanks
Sent from my iPhone Ric

I thoroughly enjoyed this gentle little tome. The multilayered discussion of the inevitability of death for individuals and societies was refreshing. They DID go gentle into the night. The sadness was palpable but no sense of outrage or victim hood. It was also nice to read a book in which human pathology was acknowledged but not wallowed in. Finally the message of making small impacts upon individuals instead of sweeping programmatic interventions resonated with me!
Thanks
Sent from my iPhone Rich Dinter
Jean Nicholson
i bought this book in 1990 when in Canada and over the years have loved to read it. Needed to read it again now. It still has the same effect on me. This is the story of a young Anglican priest who does not know he is going to die in the nexr 2-3 years who is sent by the Bishop to a remote village. Here he learns of the way of life of the old villages and their cermeonies and the clash that modern times will bring to the village and its future demise like other indigenous villages before it. It i bought this book in 1990 when in Canada and over the years have loved to read it. Needed to read it again now. It still has the same effect on me. This is the story of a young Anglican priest who does not know he is going to die in the nexr 2-3 years who is sent by the Bishop to a remote village. Here he learns of the way of life of the old villages and their cermeonies and the clash that modern times will bring to the village and its future demise like other indigenous villages before it. It is told in simple language that gets to the heart. I am 80, need I say more.
Kim
Poignant tale of a young, terminally ill cleric learning how to his life to the fullest in three years spent with a remote Native American tribe. In this book the residential schools are portrayed as a way to help move the tribe's youth into modern society and the tribe's demise is perceived as inevitable. It looks critically at modern society's lack of appreciation of Native culture, language and values, and yearns for a compromise between two cultures that seems impossible (though there is a t Poignant tale of a young, terminally ill cleric learning how to his life to the fullest in three years spent with a remote Native American tribe. In this book the residential schools are portrayed as a way to help move the tribe's youth into modern society and the tribe's demise is perceived as inevitable. It looks critically at modern society's lack of appreciation of Native culture, language and values, and yearns for a compromise between two cultures that seems impossible (though there is a twinge of hope at the end).
Joanie
I first read this at least forty years ago. I pulled it off the shelf at the library on a whim because I have an owl who sometimes perches outside my bedroom window really late at night. I only hear him if I've been tossing and turning and can't sleep.
This is still as affecting as when I first read it and I wept through the ending. It's a quiet, beautiful book. I'm glad it's still on the shelf at the library.
Jacqueline Ouldali
Written in the 1960's, it presents a picture of life in a small Kwakwaka'wakw village north of Vancouver Island, as written from the perspective of a visiting resident priest. Interesting insight into some of the cultural traditions and practices to help outsiders understand what life may have been like for these people at this time, including the interaction with outsiders, the children going away to residential schools, ceremonies, food harvesting etc..
Lisa
I read this book for the first time about 25 years ago and I reread it every few years. I have recommended it to special friends and given it as a gift to many. For me, it is that kind of book. It is a small, powerful story on the power of love that the native villagers show to an outsider and the dignity provided in his death. As I get older and have dealt with such loss, the story only gets more beautiful. I think it is time for me to read it again.
Judi Resick
I found this book to be a slow read up until about the last 20 pages, at which point I couldn't put it down. The descriptions of the indigenous cultures of the Pacific North West were vivid and detailed. The characters were complex and richly described. Craven paints a poignant picture of an ancient culture on the eve of its permanent change. The plot threads could be stronger. Overall, I found it to be a good read.
Beatrice
A young pastor is sent to minister to a lonely community of Indians far up into the mountains. Will his heart be open enough to learn of them, not just preach to them? And will he know the true value of friendship and community before he hears the owl call his name?

A childhood favorite, this story still resonates.
Rebecca Smith
I reread this after first reading it as a young adult so I am a biased reviewer.
I still liked this story. It was beautifully written about a sparse and unforgiving landscape, people who were strong and wise, and a way of life that was gradually, sadly changing.

The characters, though fictional, give me hope in the ability of humankind to actually BE kind and human.
Linda
A classic. A young and very ill vicar is sent by his bishop to an isolated village of native people. He is sent there to teach and learns much: a place in community, true friendship, honesty and lasting peace. He learns that all people tread two worlds: past and future, fear and peace, being and living.
Lynn
I had never heard of the book or author before, but read it as a book club selection. Beautifully written. Lovely story of an Anglican pastor to a remote Canadian First Nation village who struggles with loneliness, identity, community, self-sufficiency, love, and learns about the meaning of life and death.
Wilda
This is one from the required reading list of my former school days and one that I have never forgotten. Now, nearly 40 years later, I have read it again. For its lasting impact, and for many of the reasons highlighted by other appreciative reviewers, I believe it worthy of a five star rating. I don't read many books twice. One day I may read it again, perhaps when the owl calls me.
Susan K.
This is beautifully written book, about a minister (who is unaware he has a palliative illness) who is sent to a remote west coast native reserve. Very powerful in the way it was written, as he gently tries to establish a relationship with the village people.
Courtenay
I read this book when I was substitute teaching high school students required to read it. I enjoyed it, but it did not make a big impression on me. Now, more than 40 years later, it has deeply affected me.
Teresa Lavoie
Read this book for book club for January meeting!Very fast read.Interesting book about a young vicar of the Anglican church ministering to a tribe of Indians in Canada. Slow to start but moves quickly as he befriends the tribal people.
Ruth
This was an unusual book. I haven't fully decided what my reaction is. Some aspects were beautifully written, with a quasi-mystical other worldliness to them. While I doubt I'd have chosen this on my own (it was chosen in my book group), I am glad I read it. More than that, I can't quite say.
Pieter Keyzer
Simple poetic prose of a beautiful place living, life and dealing with the present and it's stark realities against the amazing backdrop of nature and clashing cultures.

A great read for those embarking on an adventure (young adults) as well as those living through or reflecting on one.
Dorothy Clark
This great book has become a classic for good reason. It's a glimpse of a culture that is disappearing. We know from page 1 that the vicar is doomed, but we get to watch him find family and see the love develop between him and the people he serves. A touching story.
Gail
I first read this book long ago in high school, and I've forgotten what a small gem it . Writing, characters, the respect for the old ways, all come together to make a book that is beautiful and peaceful.
Mark Meyer
I’ve read this book four or five times since first stumbling onto it in the 1970s. Each time the story captures me and speaks to me in meaningful ways I am not always able to clearly identify. It’s more than just the plot and characters. I love this little book and Margaret Craven’s writing.
Sandee
Wonderful story and I will likely read it again.
Ken
Beautiful story. Very moving. Read this years ago, was nice to read it again.
Laura
Such a pleasure to find this. So many books I no longer own - due to moving, life etc. I think this one passed to my mother; because I remember her saying how much she like it too.
Rebecca Tworek
This book was well written. I fell in love with the story and characters. I cried at the end. RECOMMEND IT!!!
Meredith
I re-read this book every year... Truly an amazing and life changing read.
Pamrla
This was a great read flowed well and a surprising ending
Karen Georgia
I was very moved by this story. The old ways and the new ways. the appreciation of life and death. I was close to tears at the end. A beautiful tale, well written. Much to learn.
Dianne
This book is simply written but oh so complex in its story of life, death and the complexities of humanity. It was great!!
Photovy
Like Black Robe, it depicts a native-newcomer interaction between native americans and whites.
LeAnna Nguyen
Glad I finally read the novel... lost of tight-knit families, friendships, and culture/belief to the influences from the outside world.
Kathy
Nice read about life, death and friendship.
Marjea Greene
Not sure what I expected, but I liked the book more than I thought I might.
Ryan
Amazing. I read it once before coming to Alaska. Living in Wrangell, this book spoke to me on a level it didn't before. Frankly wonderful.
W
Beautifully written. People and places were clearly defined without too much detail. This could be a book to add to my permanent shelf. For now, I'll highly recommend it to others.
Kmkoppy
A powerful little book. It's the kind of book that you can read at different points in your life and gain lessons from, each time in different ways. I loved it.
Kaylee
This is a very sad book, but worth reading. I recommend it.
Kevin Atsma
Good read for learning about first nations in B.C
C
I had seen the movie, but never read the book. I liked it a lot.
Kristine
Tänan Carolit, kes enne USA reisi seda raamatut soovitas.
Shilo
I loved this book so much, and it broke my heart in the best possible ways.
Kevin Ingram
The author's purpose in I Heard the Owl Call My Name was to entertain her audience with an outsider who is adapting to a new environment. Margaret Craven's purpose was to entertain because she told a story of how a white man, Mark, journeys to Kingcome, which is a village with Kwakiutl people. At Kingcome, Margaret entertains her audience by using Mark to interact with the Indians, and learning as much as he can with only two years left to live. Also, her purpose was to entertain because she cr The author's purpose in I Heard the Owl Call My Name was to entertain her audience with an outsider who is adapting to a new environment. Margaret Craven's purpose was to entertain because she told a story of how a white man, Mark, journeys to Kingcome, which is a village with Kwakiutl people. At Kingcome, Margaret entertains her audience by using Mark to interact with the Indians, and learning as much as he can with only two years left to live. Also, her purpose was to entertain because she created conflict with Mark and the Kwakiutl people by making them not trust each other completely, but as the novel progressed, their trust for each other grew stronger. She entertained her readers with suspenseful events such as, "In the village the tribe heard the roar of the slide, prolonged and intensified as it was tossed from one steep inlet side to another...echoes still rumbled in the far distance" (Craven 154). This event of a landslide entertained the audience because it created suspense, and it made the audience predict what will happen next. Finally, the author's purpose in this novel was to entertain us with suspenseful events, copious details, and changing relationships.

The theme of this novel is the inevitability of fate. At the beginning of the novel, the Bishop said, "So short a time to learn so much? It leaves me no choice. I shall send him to my hardest parish. I shall send him to Kingcome on patrol of the Indian villages" (Craven 9). This quote proves the theme of the inevitability of fate because we learn that Mark does not have long to live, so the Bishop sends him on his hardest journey to learn and live as much as he can in the time he has left. Also, the inevitability of fate occurs in this novel when Mark finally dies in a landslide which supports this theme and shows that his time is up. When a new life is introduced in this novel, it means a tragic death will follow, so nature can stay balanced. An example that proves this scenario and supports this theme is when the new outsider, Mark, shows up in Kingcome, Calamity Bill soon dies of illness in the winter which kept nature balanced. Another example that proves this scenario and supports the theme of the inevitability of fate is when Keetah returns to Kingcome with a new baby child, and Mark soon dies from a landslide which kept nature balanced. These scenarios prove the theme of inevitability of fate because the villagers could not prevent nature from staying at equilibrium, and taking lives of their people. Finally, the theme of this novel is the inevitability of fate because characters could not avoid their final outcome.

Margaret's style in this book is a narration. It is a narration because she tells a series of chronological events with great detail. Her style is a narration because she tells a story of how Mark, the outsider in an Indian village, learns to adapt to the Kwakiutl environment, and how he grows to connect and build trust with the villagers. The author's style is a narration because at the beginning of the novel, the Kwakiutl people did not trust Mark since he was different, but towards the end of the novel, their trust and their relationships between each other grew stronger and better. Also, the style is a narration because she tells a series of events leading up to Mark's death at the end of the novel. A quote by the author that supports the style of a narration states, "Then the men of the tribe waded into the icy water to meet the canoes, each man taking his turn carrying the body of the young vicar to the black sands of Kingcome..." (Craven 158). This quote not only shows that Mark's days are finally over, but it also shows the respect the villagers had for Mark at the end of the novel since they carried his body together. This proves that the style is a narration because it shows the improvement of the relationships between Mark and the villagers, and it shows how Mark adapted to the Kwakiutl environment before he died. Lastly, the style of this novel is a narration because it tells a story about how death is unavoidable no matter what you do.

Overall, I thought the novel was very interesting with the Kwakiutl environment and their views on life. I liked how Margaret included Mark to compare an outsider to the normal village life in Kingcome because it strengthened their qualities. I liked how the author made suspenseful events, and used great detail to describe the surroundings. I disliked how she made the relationships so confusing because it made hard to tell who liked each other, and who did not. I would change how Mark died because she makes it seem like he is supposed to die of his illness, but instead makes him die from a natural disaster. I would also change how she did not give much information about Mark's life before he went to Kingcome. Lastly, this is similar to Brave New World because they both use outsiders going into a new environment.
Nancy Hartill
This is a heartfelt and well written story about a minister who is dying, but while in good health is assigned to a Native Indian Village for 3 years. He learns the culture and ways of the tribe and being in a remote area, struggles with loneliness but is humble and takes on the big job of giving his time and teaches them faith. Some of the young are lucky to go on to college and find out what living in a white culture is like, while those back at the village are skeptical they will ever come ba This is a heartfelt and well written story about a minister who is dying, but while in good health is assigned to a Native Indian Village for 3 years. He learns the culture and ways of the tribe and being in a remote area, struggles with loneliness but is humble and takes on the big job of giving his time and teaches them faith. Some of the young are lucky to go on to college and find out what living in a white culture is like, while those back at the village are skeptical they will ever come back. This is a very good insight of the lore and life among the wild animals, plants and the life in nature. I really loved this little book.
Mrs. Killingsworth
Insightful about the Native American culture in the Pacific Northwest.
Brian
Pre-Reading:
I admit I was less than enthused about reading a nature book. I’m a child of the “burbs” — I didn’t camp, hike, or otherwise rough it much growing up — I nearly failed biology when I last took it, in 9th grade, and I hardly ever turn to the Discovery Channel. The result is I don’t know a whole lot about plants, trees, fish, landforms, or other elements of the natural world. So I strain to appreciate the natural imagery that pervades books such as I Heard the Owl Call my Name. Try as Pre-Reading:
I admit I was less than enthused about reading a nature book. I’m a child of the “burbs” — I didn’t camp, hike, or otherwise rough it much growing up — I nearly failed biology when I last took it, in 9th grade, and I hardly ever turn to the Discovery Channel. The result is I don’t know a whole lot about plants, trees, fish, landforms, or other elements of the natural world. So I strain to appreciate the natural imagery that pervades books such as I Heard the Owl Call my Name. Try as I may, I sometimes fail entirely at assembling mental pictures from authors’ descriptions of far-off landscapes — like the Northwest coast of Canada — because I have no inkling as to how the pictures should look. I picked this book because, at this early point in my education, I aspire to teach high school, and this book was listed as a high school selection.

During Reading:
I was drawn through the story by it’s elusive, mystical quality, which seems, within it’s first pages, to hold the promise of revelation. I wanted to learn why the Indians’ eyes are all deeply sad (a significant motif) and why they may reject Mark, as Caleb, the older vicar, warned him. The knowledge that Mark Brian is sick and fated to die, which Craven sets up on page one, also enticed me through the story. I was motivated to read also out of admiration for the Craven’s sparingly elegant use of foreshadowing and symbolism. I enjoyed observing how she employs these techniques and what they do for her tale.

After Reading:
Many days after finishing the story, I have trouble answering the simplest, most common question people ask of a book — what is it about? This one is tough to get your mind around, and to some extent, I think perhaps that was Craven’s intent. It is most certainly a book about how to live, about our impermanence, about the sacredness of and our inextricable connection to the natural elements, and about death. But what is says about these things is somewhat hard to generalize; the spiritual tenor of the book endows it with mutable meaning and a power to enlighten in ways that, as a reader, I feel but struggle to verbalize.

Ideas for Future Teaching:
As much value as I took from this book as a reader, as a future English teacher I recognize it could be problematic as an assigned text in middle school or high school — principally for two reasons: Glacial plot and thematic vagueness. I Heard the Owl Call my Name is not a story of action. It’s important moments are not when things happen; rather, they often come as subtle spiritual epiphanies (such as when Mark’s eyes become sad when he learns Keetah’s sister is dead) that Craven creates with a delicateness many students perhaps would miss. I would be concerned that many students would be bored by the pace of the story and by it’s insubstantiality, and that too many of them would give up on the book.

VOYA: 4Q 1P
Jerrica Pierce
At times it was difficult for me to understand, but I loved the story that was told and the messages that came with it. Definitely enjoyable, though not my favorite classic.
Kirsten
My mom recommended this book to me. She had had her own copy of it for years and the story had touched her heart countless times. While I enjoyed it, I was irritated by the simplistic writing style of the author and felt that it took away from what was trying to be expressed. It didn’t touch me as it has countless others... An okay story, and I am glad I read it, but I’m pretty far from singing its praises.
Wayne
As far as I know this is the first book by a Canadian that I have registered on Goodreads.
I was going to sneak it in on my Americana Shelf.
NOT correct and definitely NOT FAIR!!!
So it sits alone,
a sign of how little we get to know about the national literature of so many countries
except the wealthy ones or ones in the same lingo.
(Although I heard that China is the largest English-speaking country in the world now!!)

Someone mentioned this book just the other day.
I recalled it with fond memories. As far as I know this is the first book by a Canadian that I have registered on Goodreads.
I was going to sneak it in on my Americana Shelf.
NOT correct and definitely NOT FAIR!!!
So it sits alone,
a sign of how little we get to know about the national literature of so many countries
except the wealthy ones or ones in the same lingo.
(Although I heard that China is the largest English-speaking country in the world now!!)

Someone mentioned this book just the other day.
I recalled it with fond memories.

Today I listened to a piece of music by an Australian composer
inspired by this book and given the same title as the book.
I listened with great interest.
It was vocal and lasted 15 minutes.
The composer Philip Nunn was born in 1961 and now lives in London.
The piece was composed in 1988,if I recall correctly, with a recent revision.
Have yet to do some research on the composer.

It also made me think that the choosing of the vocation/job
of the dying main character as that of Catholic priest
may have alot to do with the popularity of the book.
For some reason many people get sentimental or romantic
about nuns and priests featuring in films or stories or documentaries.
Having been into the Inner Sanctum of this particular Religious Tribe myself,
I can assure you there is very little of romance or sentiment or sanctity about it at all.
No singing Father Bing Crosby or serene Sister Ingrid Bergman in sight!!!

The recent Irish film "The Magdalene Sisters"(2002) is the only one
I know of which tries to set the record straight.
I quote from Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide:
"Harrowing fact-based drama set in 1960's Ireland in a convent
where young women are incarcerated for committing such 'misdeeds'
as flirting with boys, becoming pregnant out of wedlock,
and being raped.They are physically abused by the head nun and her staff,
who are convinced they are doing the Lord's work.
Sometimes painful to watch but it's a story that needs to be told."
(I see these nuns as victims as well as the girls who were in their charge.)

At the moment a French film, "Of Gods and Men", about Catholic monks living in Algeria
during the troubles there, and who are murdered, is doing the rounds here
and being smothered under drooling plaudits
for which there seems to be little justification.
Only one critic has pointed out that the monks could easily have been seen
as part of the French Imperialism and exploitation which Algerians
had to endure. Missionaries, vanguards of most imperialistic takeovers,
have wreaked havoc and destruction on native cultures.
Even Herman Melville wrote about it in disgust.

I am writing of my own experiences of monastic life
which I have titled appropriately "Dirty Habits".
Kristin
Interesting window into Native American life and the difficulty with the choice between staying as their ancestors lived or following the white men's world. There doesn't seem to be any place between the two.

I found it slow and difficult to get into. Kelly had checked it out for R to read but I doubt it would hold her interest.
Zoe Brooks
This review first appeared on my magic realism blog - http://magic-realism-books.blogspot.com

I loved this book. It is short (only 146 pages) and in many ways quite simple tale, but it moved me profoundly. At its heart is a man (the young vicar Mark) finding himself and his place in the context of nature. He does so as he comes to understand Here every bird and fish knew its course. Every tree had its own place upon this earth. Only man had lost his way.

But it is just Mark who has lost his way, b This review first appeared on my magic realism blog - http://magic-realism-books.blogspot.com

I loved this book. It is short (only 146 pages) and in many ways quite simple tale, but it moved me profoundly. At its heart is a man (the young vicar Mark) finding himself and his place in the context of nature. He does so as he comes to understand Here every bird and fish knew its course. Every tree had its own place upon this earth. Only man had lost his way.

But it is just Mark who has lost his way, but also the younger members of the Kwakiutl tribe. This is personified in the clash of two young men: Jim, the young man who helps Mark, and Gordon who leaves the tribal lands for the city. Both men love Keetah, who must choose between the old tribal life and the white man's city. As the bishop tells Mark: The Indian knows his village and feels for his village as no white man for his country, his town or even his own bit of land... The myths are the village and the winds and the rains. The river is the village and the black and white killer whales... The village is the salmon... the seal... the bluejay... Throughout the book we, like Mark, learn to regret the loss of the tribe's old ways and affinity with the natural world of their land. The clash of cultures may be unavoidable but the reader shares Mark's sadness at what is lost.

Mark's approach to the tribe and its beliefs is contrasted with two other sets of visitors. He refuses to help some Californian tourists gawp at the villagers. Then an English woman anthropologist arrives, who criticizes Mark's calling: What a shame that Christianity had come here! If the white man had not intruded.... the village would have remained a last stronghold of a culture which was almost gone. But she leaves after ten days having finished her studies. Mark's sympathetic commitment to the tribe's customs is demonstrated when he helps preserve the old tribal burial ground.

On the first page of the novel we discover that Mark is dying, but he doesn't know until quite late in the novel. This creates a tension within the story. According the tribal belief a dying man hears the owl call his name, and this happens to Mark. But this is more than just a bit of magic. The bishop has previously said, when talking about the Indian view of the village, that the village is the talking bird, the owl, who calls the man who is going to die. Throughout the book the village has called to the dying man.
Amy

Prior to picking this book up for English 7701, I recalled first reading it sometime in high school; however, I read this book for a social studies class, not an English one. The cover alone reminded me that it related to Native American culture and that hearing the owl was an omen of death; as for any further details, my memory failed me.


As I read this text, I found the detail of the Kwakiutl history enriching. I felt peace in the traditions they upheld and anger at the younger generations’ la

Prior to picking this book up for English 7701, I recalled first reading it sometime in high school; however, I read this book for a social studies class, not an English one. The cover alone reminded me that it related to Native American culture and that hearing the owl was an omen of death; as for any further details, my memory failed me.


As I read this text, I found the detail of the Kwakiutl history enriching. I felt peace in the traditions they upheld and anger at the younger generations’ lack of reverence for its history. Yet, through these emotions, I understood the larger thematic element to such a contrast. Change happens; it is an unavoidable evil of survival. This is why we see the younger Kwakiutl men and women encouraged to explore the “big world” as Jim calls it (157). The balancing act between the old world and the new, however, seems to be too difficult. In addition to this first positive response, more than the Native American folklore and tradition, I enjoyed reading the development of Mark’s character in relation to the Kwakiutl people. The respect between the vicar and the Kwakiutl was impressive to me as I read the book. This development of acceptance and trust propelled me through the text. After finishing the text, I felt that it was a successful close. With Mark’s death, the book came full circle to the ominous beginning, just like the life of a salmon that Mark was compared to earlier in the novel. Because of this, I felt the book was strong in its characterization and thematic development; however, I am not sure how well this would go over for high school students.


From my teaching experience, I find that students react best to those books that are plot driven but to which we, as teachers, can still connect character and theme development. I feel I Heard the Owl Call My Name would be a difficult text to get students through by itself. Connecting it to more relevant stories of cultural acceptance would be vital in getting students to relate to this text.



VOYA Eval: 5Q 3P

Amy Sanders
Donna
In this story a young vicar, 27-year-old Mark Brian, is sent by his bishop to serve a remote Indian village on an island in the Pacific Northwest, an American Indian tribe of the Kwakiutl people in British Columbia. Before being sent on his new assignment Mark has a physical. The doctor who examined him did not tell him but did tell the bishop the bad news. The young vicar has no more than 3 years to live. The wise bishop decided to keep this information to himself and not tell Mark but instead In this story a young vicar, 27-year-old Mark Brian, is sent by his bishop to serve a remote Indian village on an island in the Pacific Northwest, an American Indian tribe of the Kwakiutl people in British Columbia. Before being sent on his new assignment Mark has a physical. The doctor who examined him did not tell him but did tell the bishop the bad news. The young vicar has no more than 3 years to live. The wise bishop decided to keep this information to himself and not tell Mark but instead to send him to serve this Indian village where Mark learns to really live. Not knowing his own health situation Mark is able to serve without distraction. He worries about being accepted by the tribe. The older Indians of the tribe see the young ones leaving. They also know the tribe will be extinct in the not-too-distant future. And they have had previous experience with outsiders. Some of these outsiders have been disrespectful of the Indian culture. The only other white man currently in the village is the teacher who doesn’t like Indians but took this job to save money to go to Greece and study an ancient cluture he admires. Some priests are sent to these remote posts because they are unprepared for other assignments and here “can do no damage”. But Mark relates well to the villagers. He wants to get to know them but is not intrusive. He respects their rituals and customs. He doesn’t judge. A lot of what he does is hard physical labor and helping in crisis. He suffers with them. He was not looking to his future but rather there in the present with them. This is one of my all time favorite books. It is such a good reminder of some basic truths. We are part of nature. Death is a part of life. Change is inevitable and sometimes painful. Life is good but there is sadness to it. And everyone needs to find purpose.
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