by Michael J. Caduto. Illustrated by Adelaide Murphy Tyrol. Bennington, Vermont: Images From the Past, 1999. 70 pages, cloth, 5- 1/2 x 7 -1/4 , illustrated.
He somehow found his way to Vermont soon after the Mexican War. It was a long journey; the beginning of a private purgatory that lasted over 150 years. At last, with the help of friends he'd never met, he took the final steps in a quiet cemetery by the river on a sultry afternoon. In this strange and haunting tale, which is based on a true story, the reader enters a world suspended between our earthly existence and the realm of the human spirit. A small community of people embarks on an adventure that compels them to bring the mysterious remains of one long dead to a resting place of peace and grace. With help from two distinct spiritual traditions, and a dose of healing humor in the face of grief, the journey unfolds with a sense of dignity and compassion.
"Caduto's latest gem...this tale speaks volumes to us of the soul-gaps left in us by a "purely scientific" approach to the mystery of human life. It brings us back to old spiritual questions and longings that the glitzy new religion of science cannot answer or satisfy. I was moved to tears."
- The Times Argus
"This magical book bridges the contemporary and the historic worlds, along with the spirit world beyond our understanding of time and space...a well-crafted jewel of a story."
- E. Barrie Kavasch, author/illustrator of American Indian
and Founder, Native American Spirituality Circle
"Remains Unknown fuses body and spirit, showing how a history of disrespect on the material plane creates a soul in pain. Michael Caduto gently and wisely reveals our need and our duty to help each other heal--whether we are friends and neighbors or strangers separated by seeming chasms of time and circumstance. It is a haunting, yet joyous tale, one that lingers long in the mind."
- Professor Philip Deloria, Department of History,
University of Colorado, Boulder
"This little story clarifies a big issue; it reminds us that repatriation of human remains is, after all, a question of human respect."
- Colin Calloway, author and Chair,
Native American Studies Center at Dartmouth College