Land of the Dancing Deer
by Jamuna Devi Advani

Lulu, 2010. ISBN 978-0-557-72584-7.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 04/01/2012


Jamuna Devi Advani has created a beautiful family history in poetry. Land of the Dancing Deer begins with reflections about her memories and beliefs and continues with stories of her life's journey. Throughout the book she includes beautiful watercolors and photos of those who were important to her.

Her life began in the Imphal valley in North East India and continued in New Delhi at the College of Nursing. She was married for 36 years and when her husband could no longer hold on to life, she moved to the West to be near her daughter. It was a big adjustment but she was persistent and learned to live with loss.

Advani writes of precious moments spent with her grandmother, the love-filled advice she received from her. Losing her grandmother was one of her great losses, so great she says, that in dealing with the death of her grandmother it was as if part of her ceased to live.

Stepping on the stones of joys and sorrows
The family's tree spread wide and tall,
Buried in my loneliness
I wonder.
Looking at the mirror,
The reflections I see now.
My secret self exposed:
I am the one who was within me.

Advani writes about her fear of writing and says, "Each one of us has something to tell—one unique story deep inside—buried between courage and fear." I suggest reading Land of the Dancing Deer for ideas on how to fulfill your own destiny and start writing your story.

Jamuna Devi Advani graduated in Nursing from Delhi University in 1958. She moved to the U.S. late in life and has never lost interest in all her varied hobbies. She has published articles and poems in the Story Circle Journal. She is currently working on her memoir.

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