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Ravensong

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Lee Maracle, author of the best-selling I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism, sets this novel in an urban Native American community on the Pacific Northwest coast in the early 1950s. Ravensong is by turns damning, humorous, inspirational, and prophetic.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 8th 2002 by Raincoast Books, Press Gang Publishers (first published May 8th 1993)
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Community Reviews

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Friederike Knabe
Ravensong, Lee Maracle's 1993 novel, is as powerful and meaningful today as it was when it was first published some twenty years ago. It is a beautifully written, at times challenging, story that weaves the past with the present into a moving portrait of a family, a community and a land that has faced and still faces many challenges from within and from outside. Situated in the Northwest of Vancouver Island, Maracle evokes a land where the Raven sings and communicates with Cedar, where the cedar ...more
Lourdes
A fascinating Canadian novel that engrosses the reader so much into the events within the story that Stacey begins to feel like a real person, a fellow acquaintance. The contrasts between the village and white town are set in fiction but the eery tone invokes a deep sense of compassion and shame; for these descriptions are based upon fact and very accurate fact. Never have I been so enthralled in a novel that challenges me in such a way. To consider the moral implications that were enforced upon ...more
Amy
Ravensong by Lee Maracle Review


There’s something about this book that is simply enchanting. It could have been the mixing of reality and native beliefs, the characters or the story, but whatever it was it made this a surprisingly enjoyable read. I’ll admit after reading ”As For Me and My House” by Sinclair Ross and being so disappointed this book was a pleasant change from the Prairies in the Depression. It was made better by the fact that I was following a teenager, rather than an older adult
...more
Caseythecanadianlesbrarian
Salish- Métis author Lee Maracle’s 1993 novel Ravensong doesn’t centre around queerness or lesbian sexuality in the way that you might expect in a book reviewed here. It’s a beautiful and powerful novel about settler and Indigenous relations regardless, but its main character Stacey, a young Salish woman living on a reserve in the 1950s, isn’t explicitly or implicity queer (although she is potentially queer, I would say, given Maracle’s take on sexuality). There is, however, a lesbian couple who ...more
Jody
This is the most beautiful book I have read in a while. It carefully feathers together how complicated the divide is between the world of white people and the Native American way of life. It is well worth the time it takes to read it (a day or two) and offers such deep insight that I feel like I understand things better than I did before I read it, yet it is also utterly overwhelming to contemplate my own lack of understanding and the great loss that the People have endured. I loved this story s ...more
Natalie Carvajal
Just finished this book and I was completely engrossed with it. Lee has a really absorbing style of writing.
Nafiza
I read this for my Canadian Lit. class. This is one of the first books written by a native Indian and that is one of the claims it makes to fame. It’s a work of exquisite imagery, woven with the strong feelings that keeps it immortal. However, to anyone reading this in the contemporary time, Caucasians especially, the scorn and rejection of all things “White” will perhaps be difficult to accept. It would be only too easy to paint the author a racist without stopping to put her story into context ...more
Neill Smith
Stacy is a Salish girl in her last year of high school at a white school across the river from her village. She struggles to understand the contrasts between the realities of her life in her village and the life in whitetown. Not only is there a different social order but people and actions that are held to be important and necessary in one place are either opposed or ignored in the other. The author also uses magical realism to contrast Stacy's views with those of her younger sister who sees th ...more
Litbitch
I remember this as one of the worst books I have ever finished (and I don't put many down). Poorly written and excessively preachy. I'm sure my perception of the writer's talent wouldn't change much if I were to torture myself by reading it again, but it is possible that I was reading too many "nice" Indian authors at the time and was shocked by the unveiled hatred in this book. Perhaps, after reading Alexie and others, I wouldn't roil at this content as much. I don't know. I don't remember it w ...more
Amanda
An awesome book we read in a class called Feminist Epistemology...and I must admit, I think I'd have had trouble reading it if it hadn't been for an amazing professor and some great discussion/clarification throughout the book. But, for anyone interested in Native American spirituality (particularly Pac NW Natives), or the clash of white culture and Native culture, it's a great book with a lot of eye-opening and thought-provoking points.
Nadia
I kind of feel that objectively this is a really great book. I was really impressed with how much information it packed in in an effortless way, but at the same time something about the writing style just didn't click with me and for the first 4/5ths of the book I really felt like the characters were held at arms length. Maybe that was intentional? I don't know. Still, thumbs up overall.
Star Dt
I love this book so much!
One of those books I want everyone to read.
So smart and important. I love when books have a politics instead of just being a series of boring literary devices and clever thoughts that first year shitheads think they're so awesome for unraveling.

I mostly don't like fiction anymore but I loved this book.
Caitlin
The fluidity of the narrative was gorgeous. It had me in awe at moments. It was heavy material at times, but I expected no less. It is knowledge worth having and a perspctive worth hearing. What I really valued were the moments of almost heart-breaking linguistic beauty. I'd read it again just for those moments.
Sheena
A story about the flu epidemic that ravaged a small Native community in Canada. It's told through the eyes of a Native teen girl, who sees the devastation her community suffers while going to school with non-Native kids and observing the very small effect the flu has on that community. Very well written.
Melissa
Another book for looking at Canadian history through a literary lens. Now that I'm adding all of the books that I've read in the past, I've just noticed that I read Maracle's I Am Woman in my first semester, then read this book in my last full semester. Almost like coming full circle, isn't it?
Amy
Read this for a class. Not a bad book, but not something I would have picked up and read on my own.
Hilda William
This novel aptly describes First Nations life on reserve in Canada.
Linda Irvine
The place of deep thoughts... I loved this book.
Jax
Jul 02, 2010 Jax added it
couldnt finish it. moving too slowly.
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Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, she grew up in the neighbouring city of North Vancouver and attended Simon Fraser University. She was one of the first Aboriginal people to be published in the early 1970s.

Maracle is one of the most prolific aboriginal authors in Canada and a recognized authority on issues pertaining to aboriginal people and aboriginal literature. She is an award-winning poet,
...more
More about Lee Maracle...
I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism Celia's Song Bobbi Lee Indian Rebel First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style Daughters are Forever

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