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A rune is, in its general meaning, a tale of magic and mystery. To Sigurd Olson it expresses his feelings about the haunting appeal of the wilderness and of the tales and legends to be found there. His runes are legends, yards, and wilderness reflections drawn from the great northern vastness of Canada and Alaska. Whether he is recounting a charming Indian myth, such as “The Dream Net,” or describing the exhilaration of the sauna, the primitive Finnish bath, or sharing the pleasure of digging a spring for a remote Runes of the North is divided into two sections: one, “Le Beau Pays,” reveals woodland lore of the land of big timber, rushing white water streams, and “lost” lakes of the Canadian border; the other, “Pays d’en Haut,” has for the setting of its chapters the wilderness farther north, from Hudson Bay across the Barren Grounds and tundra to the Yukon and Alaska. This new book by the author of The Singing Wilderness, Listening Point, and The Lonely Land will please thousands of readers who have found in him a kindred spirit and a man who puts into words their own deep feelings about nature.
Robert Hines’s jacket drawing of the loon, symbol of far places, and his atmospheric pen-and-inks of birds, animals, and voyageurs add pictorial appeal to these tales and ruminations of the Big North, ancient, old, and modern. less