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Summary of the Book "i Heard the Owl Call My Name" from Margaret Craven

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Margaret Craven:

Margaret Craven was born on 13th of March 1901 in Helena, Montana.

She grew up in Sacramento, California and after completing the Stanford University success-fully she worked as a journalist for a short amount of time. Between the 1930 and 1960 the American author was writing short stories for American magazines. At the beginning of the sixties Margaret Craven studied the Indian people of the tribe Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) which is on the Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Colombia.

Margaret Craven is famous for her novel "I heard the owl call my name" which appeared in 1973 in Canada. The novel appeared in 1973 in the USA and won first place on the bestseller list of the New York Times. After this the film producer Daryl Duke made a film of the book. The film has the same name as the book.

Some other books she has written are: Again calls the owl, Walk gently this good earth, the home front: collected stories.

Although Margaret Craven went blind as a result of an accident, she continued to write and wrote two books. One of them was her autobiography.

Margaret Craven died on 19th of July 1980.


The book is about a young vicar, named Mark Brian. He has been diagnosed with a disease and has only two or three years to live. He on his turn he didn't know about his disease. Only the Bishop who sends him to an Indian village, named Kingcome knows about it. He hopes that Mark will learn enough to be prepared to die. In this village the people believe that when they hear an owl calling their name they will die soon.

When Mark arrives in the village he sees sadness in the eyes of all the Indians. First he has trouble to integrate himself. But with the time he becomes a friend to the Indians. His closest friend is Jim. Mark cleans and repairs the church and the vicarage. He and Jim always go on patrol to the other villages and each Sunday Mark deliver a sermon for the Indians.

A little boy in the village is ill. And because the hospital ship comes only every six weeks Mark and Jim must bring him to Alert Bay in a hospital. Mark makes a lot of funerals, one of a boy, one of three children which had tipped over a kerosene lamp and has been burned to death and one of Gordon's mother, who had a breech birth.

Christmas is a busy time. Mark and Jim are visiting the other villages to give toys as a present for the children. During his first winter, Mark learns something of the sadness of the Indians. Their young men are all packed off to school and learn the white man's ways. While many return, others do not. Those who do return have lost some of their Indian culture.

Mrs. Hudson is afraid that Keetah's sister will never return back to the village, after marrying a white man. But Keetah contradict her because she knows her sister well and she loves her. Keetah's sister's man is in the village one day and sits together with the other men of the village. He gives them liquor and as Gordon's uncle got very drunk, he sells the giant and precious mask of his family to the man. Because of this, the old of her family are leave the village in shame and sadness and go to a deserted village.



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