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Northwest Passages: Jean Auel

Aaron Johanson

Oregon author Jean Auel wrote her bestselling novel The Clan of the Cave Bear thirty years ago. It was the first of the Earth’s Children series - drawing on the archelogical record of the Ice Age to imagine the social and spiritual life of a young Cro-Magnon woman raised by Neanderthals

It turns out Auel’s imagination may now be validated by recent DNA discoveries of interbreeding. Her subsequent novels in the series are popular around the world. The sixth, perhaps ending the story of heroine Ayla, is finished and due out early next year.

Has your imagination been swept into prehistoric life by any of Auel’s novels? What intrigues you about our Ice Age ancestors? What experience do you have that perhaps brushes with that time – gathering your own food, killing and using all parts of an animal? What questions do you have for Jean Auel?

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