Publication Year: 2012
Anita Endrezze has deep memories. Her father was a Yaqui Indian. Her mother traced her heritage to Slovenia, Germany, Romania, and Italy. And her stories seem to bubble up from this ancestral cauldron. Butterfly Moon is a collection of short stories based on folk tales from around the world. But its stories are set in the contemporary, everyday world. Or are they?
Endrezze tells these stories in a distinctive and poetic voice. Fantasy often intrudes into reality. Alternate “realities” and shifting perspectives lead us to question our own perceptions. Endrezze is especially interested in how humans hide feelings or repress thoughts by developing shadow selves. In “Raven’s Moon,” she introduces the shadow concept with a Black Moon, the “unseen reflection of the known.” (Of course the story is about a witch couple who seem very much in love.) The title character in “The Wife Who Lived on Wind” is an ogress who lives in a world somewhat similar to our own, but only somewhat. “The Vampire and the Moth Woman” reveals shape-shifters living among us.
Not surprisingly, Trickster appears in these tales. As in Native American stories, Trickster might be a fox or a coyote or a raven or a human—or something in between. “White Butterflies” and “Where the Bones Are” both deal with devastating diseases that swept through Yaqui country in the 1530s. Underneath their surfaces are old Yaqui folktales that feature the greatest Trickster of all: Death (and his little brother Fate).
Enjoyably disturbing, these stories linger—deep in our memory.
Published by: University of Arizona Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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On This Earth
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The house was a forest remembering itself. The pine trees that held up the walls dreamed of stars dwelling in their needles. Jointed, branched, rooted, the trees still listened to the wind. The oak floors gleamed from the generations of human oils. Nails pierced ...
Constellation of Angels
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Above the city, the constellation of angels glows. In the tribal dreams thick with broad leaves and clans of red fish and moons, the psychics sigh. They know we all come from lost tribes. Those who have lost their dreams, the world over, feel ...
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“I have nothing to say to you,” she said. Her dark eyes flashed. He stirred uncomfortably on the hard chair. Everything in her house was hard edges. Except her body, he reminded himself. That was soft and luscious. He forced himself to be as tough ...
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Mother carried Kuta in from her work in the fields, her breath rasping in fear. He We wrapped him in soft rabbit fur to encourage sweating, then bathed him in cool water. I had a small packet of scraped wata, river willow bark. I made a tea of it and dribbled t ...
Where the Bones Are
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I smelled smoke. I started running home, sliding on the sand, fear engulfing me. Had the cooking fire flared up? Was she in danger? I should’ve never left her I skidded to a stop as I passed the fence of mesquite and cacti that surrounded our ....
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I could be quiet for five whole minutes. If I wanted to. I wouldn’t say a single Mama says I should be quiet. But I like words too much and can’t keep them quiet any more than I can stop an orange from squirting juice when I bite into it.That’s what ...
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After her husband left her, Meg came to me looking for work. I knew her, of course. She’s bought all her bulbs and flowers from us for years. She’s got ten green thumbs. I told her I’d talk it over with my sister, Liv, and get back to her.I almost didn’t ...
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The night my daddy and mama got into a big fight and she hit him with the roll-ing pin and I squawked like a plucked chicken was enormous with its sounds: the wheelbarrow creaking, a car door slamming, a man’s big voice hushed, all the And later, when ...
A Sincere Profession
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Catherine Reynard was a pretty girl with large brown eyes and plump cheeks. She sang as she dried the dishes or folded laundry. She wore designer clothes, Or so she believed because her father told her so. “We’re the working poor,” he said. He explained ...
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Jessica Corbie was married to Elijah Corbie, a young man who fancied himself a rapper. He spent most of his time every day hooking up with his friends, Sam and Bobo, and with Jessica’s brother, Justin. They all trooped down ...
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It doesn’t take long to learn to speak like a human. My tongue is used to warbles and screeches, caws and alarming imitations of hawks. So, the human language (English, to be precise) is only a minor variant of cacophony. Words can ...
The Snow Queen
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In this wild country where winter is a keen blade, I found my shadow in the white wind. The snow blew and ice cracked on the bare branches of trees.“Subject views herself as being followed by a shadow,” whispered Dr. Andy Morton. He was ...
The Vampire and the Moth Woman
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The first time I saw the vampire, I was feeding from a rhododendron blos-som, its red petals dark in the night. He stopped, searching for my presence, and listened with his uncanny hearing. My tiny heart beat too loud, too fast. His eyes ...
The Wife Who Lived on Wind
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How many times can you chew air? If it is a knot of wind, I can gnaw on it a hundred times. If it is a bone of wind, I swallow it with a slice of bread so it won’t get stuck in my throat. I am the Fabulous Florentina Scaltra! Contessa of Clouds! Duchess of the Dolomites! Marquesa di Alpini! And yes, once the pride of the late ...
The Dragonfly’s Daughter
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My name is Desetnica. My mother’s milk was watery as fog. Nine sons had she, all before me. I suckled gaunt breasts or my own tight knuckles. For years, there was pain in my belly and then I was cast out of home when the moon opened my bleeding. The tenth ...
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We’re all shape-shifters, in a way. The girl grows up to be a mother; the rugged boy becomes a balding middle-aged man wearing bifocals. Sometimes, we don’t even recognize ourselves. Our physical appearance has changed as we’ve aged: the child with blond ...
About the Author
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Anita Endrezze is an artist as well as a writer. Her recent books include Breaking Edges (Red Bird Press, 2012), Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon (University of Arizona Press, 2000), and at the helm of twilight (Broken Moon Press, 1992), ...
Publication Year: 2012