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About the author:
Paula Margulies is the owner of Paula Margulies Communications, a public relations firm for authors and artists. She has received numerous awards for her short stories, essays, and novels, including her historical novel, Favorite Daughter, Part One, her debut novel, Coyote Heart, and her short story collection, Face Value: Collected Stories. Paula is a contributor to a number of blogsites and writing websites, including Author Magazine and The Writer’s Edge (writersedgeinfo.blogspot.com). She has been awarded artist residencies at Caldera, Red Cinder Artist Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and Centrum. Paula resides in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.paulamargulies.com.
What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always been fascinated with the story of Pocahontas, and since so much of her history has been told to us by English explorers like John Smith, I decided that retelling her story, from her perspective, might make for an interesting read.
Here is a short sample from the book:
They say that on the eve of my birth, in the Time of Geese Flying, during the English year 1595, a white owl appeared in our tribal village of Werowocomoco. The bird soared across the icy Pamaunk River and flew into the longhouse where my mother, first wife of the Great Chief Powhatan, lay curled on a bed of mats, laboring to bring me into the world. As I finally emerged, bloody and squirming into the capable hands of my mother’s sisters, the owl left its spot in the rafters and escaped into the cold night through a hole in the roof. While the women of our tribe wiped me clean and laid me on a soft piece of deerskin, a single feather drifted down from above. The women say that I reached out and clutched the bit of down in my tiny hand and, afterward, my infant lips relaxed in a calm, knowing smile.
My mother named me Matoaka, the word that means little snow feather.
The members of our tribe called me by my formal name, Amonute, or sacred daughter.
When I came of age, my father gave me my mother’s name, Pocahontas, or playful, wanton one.
Many years later, when I became a Christian and married an English man, I was called Rebecca, the word meaning faithful wife. It was a name I carried with me over great waters to my final resting place in the land of the white people.
Which one is my real name? They are all mine, and none can ever be separated from the person I ultimately became. But whether I did justice to them, I call on the Great Spirit, Ahone, and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to render final judgment.
Whether I deserved any of them, I leave for you to decide.