Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What the Bear Said : Skald Tales of New Iceland by W.D. Valgardson


What the Bear Said is a collection of Icelandic folktales, told by the author recalling his childhood memories growing up in Manitoba’s Icelandic Interlake. 

From the preface to the final story the reader is invited into the sacred place of Valgardson’s past, to feel the effects of New Iceland’s geography on a people who have tried time and again to celebrate their heritage by participating in their enduring tradition of storytelling. 

Each tale is told in a straightforward way, the subject of the stories is usually about something supernatural and there is always a moral to the story. The reader is invited into the Icelandic imagination and their age old belief in magic.
 
The reviewer has many memories of Icelandic relatives telling stories late into the night about the supernatural things that live in shadows, under leaves or are just out of the corner of your eye. In What the Bear Said the reviewer had the chance to relive some of their childhood memories with a renewed love for the Icelandic tales themselves.

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