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When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky


A deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist ...
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Why did the author begin the story of Two Feathers and the Glendale Park and Zoo with "When It Was"? How do you think your view of the book would have been different if she had not included the preface?

Created: 10/18/21

Replies: 15

Posted Oct. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2754

Why did the author begin the story of Two Feathers and the Glendale Park and Zoo with "When It Was"? How do you think your view of the book would have been different if she had not included the preface?

Why do you think the author made the decision to begin the story of Two Feathers and the Glendale Park and Zoo with "When It Was"? What does this introduction reveal about the story's setting and historical context? What major themes and motifs of the novel does this preface introduce? How do you think your view of the book would have been different if the author had not included it?


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jazzming

Join Date: 03/19/21

Posts: 28

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

I think it was important because it set the stage for how the different characters were going to approach different scenarios while also helping to inform of us of where the history was at when the book began.


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeb

Join Date: 10/09/18

Posts: 39

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

The introduction was like stage direction for the opening of a play. Depending on the reader’s knowledge of American history, American Indian history, or local Glendale history, it put everyone on the same page for the beginning of the play. It introduced the conflicts between Indians and settlers, between black and white people, between science and religion and between classes. I don’t think it influenced my view of the book however.


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 127

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

It was a great use of repetitive writing to provide the reader with a condensation of not only the history of the book’s setting, but also the history of Native Americans and their treatment by European colonists and their descendants, of the South, of slavery, and the United States. I appreciated the thread running from the Ancients to the present.


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

This chapter sets the stage for showing the theme of the dichotomy that exists between the indigenous peoples’ view of their land vis a vis the white man that is told in the book. I think it also serves as a nice segue for introducing Little Elk into the story.


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janet.t

Join Date: 10/21/21

Posts: 5

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

It set up the situation in which the Natives were “others” and exploited, mistrusted, and treated as less worthy.


Posted Oct. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 127

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

This section gave us all the backstory we really needed.


Posted Oct. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jamiek

Join Date: 11/21/17

Posts: 35

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

It introduces us to the events of the past leading to the story and functions as a table of contents— going from the animals in the wild to the animals in the cages to Twos accident to Clive's unexpected romance. It also hints that although change is inevitable, sometimes it is for the good.


Posted Oct. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Laura C

Join Date: 04/30/21

Posts: 14

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

There are many ways to provide the reader with necessary introductory material. I think Verble’s intro was cleverly done, a concise delivery of relevant history, innovative and quite successful.


Posted Oct. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 125

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

I felt as if it were the beginning of a story told orally. It was as if I was a child sitting around a campfire or nestled in bed listening to a piece of family lore or legend passed down throughout the generations. For me, it not only set the mood but it provided historical and cultural context for the relationships in the story, the time period, setting, and the societal constraints that were about to follow. It added a great deal to the story as it provided a type of outline of the deeper currents always running beneath the surface.


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 45

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

I like introductory sections that set the stage and provide all the necessary historical context. That said, I think this one was a bit long, and all through the book I felt there was too much backstory.


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 102

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

I agree with gerrieb that this setting of the scene seemed like a story someone was telling me and that made it the perfect way to enter the story, but I also agree with RebeccaF that it would have benefited from being more concise.


Posted Oct. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

This was to give people an idea of what the time and place were like. I was not familiar with the place so it was helpful for that reason.


Posted Oct. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 70

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

It set up the background history of the story setting and characters. It gave the reader a description of the events of the past and how the groups interacted. It was creative but a little long.


Posted Oct. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 150

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

That introduction is very necessary and sets up the rest of the story for the readers. It provides context.


Posted Nov. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 406

RE: Why did the author begin the story ...

It was a beautifully written history of where the country and the characters had been. The repetition of the "It was a time" gave it the feeling of being told orally, which so much of history has been told. We knew the background of the land, the people, the animals and how it had changed overtime. We also knew that people were just getting over the war, and the aftermath and looking for relief. When the story begins, we are all in the same place. I don't think it changed my view of the book, as much as providing a setting.


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