Two Old Women, 20th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)

An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

By Velma Wallis

Harper Perennial, 9780062244987, 160pp.

Publication Date: November 5, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (7/1/1994)
Hardcover, Chinese (3/6/2013)

List Price: 14.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.

Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail, Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women, she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal, friendship, community, and forgiveness "speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom" (Ursula K. Le Guin).

About the Author

Velma Wallis is one in a family of thirteen children, all born in the vast fur-trapping country of Fort Yukon, Alaska, and raised with traditional Athabascan values. A writer and avid reader, she lives in Fairbanks.

Praise For Two Old Women, 20th Anniversary Edition: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival

Two Old Women speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin

“A beautiful and moving book. Velma Wallis’s writing is as lean and muscular, as full of unexpected bounties, as the far north, and readers are sure to be delighted with Two Old Women.”
— Washington Post

“Full of adventure, suspense, and obstacles overcome—an octogenarian version of ‘Thelma and Louise’ triumphant.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“No one should miss this beautiful legend.”
— Tony Hillerman

“Velma Wallis has given us a gift to cherish.”
— Alaska