The Chukchi Bible by Yuri RytkheuThe Chukchi Bible by Yuri Rytkheu

The Chukchi Bible

byYuri RytkheuTranslated byIlona Yazhbin Chavasse

Paperback | April 29, 2011

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By the celebrated author of A Dream in Polar Fog, a collection of the myths and stories of Yuri Rytkheu’s own family that is at once a moving history of the Chukchi people who inhabit the northern shores of the Bering Sea and a beautiful cautionary tale rife with conflict, human drama, and humor. We meet fantastic characters: Nau, the mother of the human race; Rau, her half-whale husband; and Rytkheu’s own grandfather, fated to be an intrepid traveler, far-ranging whaler, living ethnographic exhibit, and the last shaman of Uelen. The Chukchi Bible moves through vast Arctic tundra, sea, and sky – and to places deep within ourselves—introducing readers, in vivid prose, to an extraordinary mythology and a resilient people.
Yuri Rytkheu was born in Uelen, a village in the Chukotka region of Siberia. He sailed the Bering Sea, worked on Arctic geological expeditions, and hunted in Arctic waters, in addition to writing over a dozen novels and collections of stories. His novel A Dream in Polar Fog was a Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize Notable Book in 2006. In the ...
Title:The Chukchi BibleFormat:PaperbackDimensions:354 pages, 7 × 6 × 1.08 inPublished:April 29, 2011Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0981987311

ISBN - 13:9780981987316

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Read from the Book

The Creation of Earth, Sky, Waters, and Men A Raven, flying over an expanse. From time to time he slowed his flight and scattered his droppings. Wherever solid matter fell, a land mass appeared; wherever liquid fell became rivers and lakes, puddles and rivulets. Some- times First Bird’s excrements mingled together, and this created the tundra marshes. The hardest of the Raven’s droppings served as the building blocks for scree slopes, mountains, and craggy cliffs.Yet the world created from the stomach and bladder of the First Bird was still immersed in utter darkness. It was then that the Raven called upon his helper-birds and sent them to the east, to peck an opening for the sun’s rays in the hard, dark vault of the sky. The eagle was the first to go. The heavy swoosh of his wings echoed long in the distance. He returned, exhausted, with drooping wings and a beak crooked from pecking, but he had failed. Next the Raven sent a puffin – though he is small, his beak is sturdy and sharp. But the puffin too returned beaten. The seagulls, cormorants, sandpipers, guillemots, geese, and slug- gish eider ducks all tried, but in vain.

Editorial Reviews

A last, ringing testament to Rytkheu's people: a reworking of their myths, their history, and his own ancestry, in a poetic act of reclamation. . . Rich in the texture and detail of past lives. —The New York Review of Books Breathtaking, wild, and imaginative . . . so clear, surefooted, vivid and confident . . . They describe the marking of the seasons — the breaking ice, changing light, frost and drift . . . the training of shamans; the passing on of rituals and healing skills. —The Los Angeles Times An extended epitaph inscribed on the tombstone of a small nationality. . . . [with] an indigenous genesis myth, a fall from grace and fratricide legends, a Chukchi Deuteronomy, and a prophet-like figure. . . . [with] a heightened sense of nostalgia and . . . the full range of Rytkheu's style, from the lyrical prose of his myths and legends to the down-to-earth idiom of European whalers and merchants. —World Literature Today This story by Yuri Rytkheu is a love song to human survival, both physical and metaphysical, a true story about change and endurance, about the Essential way to live in the world, about the eternal story while recounting the fleeting one. —Gioia Timpanelli Yuri writes with passion, strength, and beauty of a world we others have never understood. A splendid book. —Farley Mowat