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June 18, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE OWL'S SONG by Jane Campbell Hale (HarperPerennial: $11; 153 pp.). After watching alcohol and despair destroy his cousin and his father, Billy White Hawk fears that the owl's song, a portent of doom, is being sung for his people. Finding the paths to his tribe's traditional wisdom closed, he leaves the Benewah reservation in Idaho to attend high-school in Seattle, where urban toughs torment him mercilessly. The alienation he experiences forces him to turn inward, where he discovers a way to establish his place in the continuity of tribal experience. The first novel by American Book Award winner Jane Campbell Hall has lost none of its impact in the 21 years that have elapsed since its initial publication.

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