Windblown: A review of Only the Wind Remembers

by Oct 20, 2010A&E0 comments


During the twentieth century, Ishi, the sole surviving member of the Yahi tribe, inspired the imagination of America.

Marlo Schalesky’s recent novel, Only the Wind Remembers, expands on the life of this historical figure.

Using actual Yahi words,anthropological information, and historical accounts, Schalesky merges fiction and fact. This blend allows her to tell the story of a woman’s efforts to find meaning for her life.

Allison Morgan’s life intersects with Ishi’s, due to her husband’s responsibilities as an anthropologist. Even though Ishi entered the dominant culture in 1911, Allison develops a deep interest in the culture and traditions of this isolated man. She learns the Yahi language, and enters into a nebulous world of fantasy and science that eventually leads her to a specific kind of faith.

The author is a chemist, who has studied theology. Her educational background shows its influence in her writing, which provides an opportunity for her to demonstrate her faith as well.

This novel mixes history, science, and spirituality and addresses questions of identity and belief.

Book info: Schalesky, Marlo.