NORTHERN EARTH Issue 129 Spring 2012
Ancestral Airs. One of the most remarkable books we have reviewed in Northern Earth over the years (see NE119)is, in book form, a thick and heavy tome retailing at $28; and being a US publication is pretty expensive for overseas orders. Perfect, therefore, for an e-book edition!
To abridge my earlier review here: This book is extraordinary – never clear whether it is a stream-of-consciousness novel, or some transmitted treatise from an ancient mind, it is a challenging read. Positively so; the use of language enhances a dream-like unreality – appropriate, for the core story is of a two-way link between individuals 6000 years apart; an American woman in mid-life crisis at the turn of the millennium and a psychopomp shaman in Mesolithic Britain, while also packed with details of ritual and herbalism. This visionary construction steeps the reader in a state of otherness and an animist world-view so all-encompassing and alien to modern minds that it is actually hard to see it as just a work of imagination. [John Billingsley]