Through the Needle's Eye

~ A Short Story by Andre Norton



Synopsis ~

The narrator, looking back, on her childhood as a little girl crippled by polio, begins with the day she refused to go to a birthday party, since she couldn't join in the games. Exploring the back garden to kill time, she crosses over into the neighboring property - to find a beautiful quilt on a clothesline, a work of art. And then a voice behind her asks her opinion of it. Thus, she meets Anne Ruthevan - an artist in needlework whose life and body were both smashed by the carriage accident that killed her father when she was twenty. The now-elderly Miss Ruthevan takes the girl on as a student in the art of needlework. For hundreds of years, Ruthevan women have had the gift - witness the centuries-old tapestries in Miss Ruthevan's home. But what price have they had to pay for the greatest triumphs of their art?


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • High Sorcery (1970) Published by ACE, PB, 0-441-33701-, $0.60, 156pg ~ cover by Gray Morrow
  • Sisters of Sorcery: Two Centuries of Witchcraft Stories by the Gentle Sex (1976) Edited by Soen Manley & Gogo Lewis, Published by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, HC, 0-688-41765-5, $13.00, 220pg

Two Centuries of Witchcraft Stories by the Gentle Sex
Seon Manley and Gogo Lewis
The secret beliefs and practices of witchcraft have been suppressed in every age, and yet the ancient lore lives on. For Sisters of Sorcery, Seen Manley and Cogo Lewis have chosen thirteen compelling witchcraft stories by outstanding women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Here you will find not the stereotype of the Halloween witch on a broomstick, but the witch as perceived with surprising insights. Andre Norton weaves a tale of destiny; ]ean Stafford leads us into the inner sanctum of a warlock; Doris Lessing lets us glimpse a guarded secret of black Africa; Seon Manley takes us back to New England before the Salem witch trials. These and the other women writers represented in this remarkable collection mystify or horrify, but always entertain, while showing the absurdity of society's patronizing label for women as "the gentle sex."

    9 • Introduction (Sisters of Sorcery) • (1976) • essay by Gogo Lewis and Seon Manley
    11 • The Cyprian Cat • (1933) • short story by Dorothy L. Sayers
    29 • Through the Needle's Eye • (1970) • short story by Andre Norton
    45 • The Witch of the Marsh • (1893) • short story by H. B. Marriott Watson [as by H. B. Marriott-Watson]
    53 • The Silver Bullet (A Story of Old Nantucket) • (1976) • short story by Clara F. Guernsey [as by Clara Florida Guernsey]
    60 • The Horned Women • (1887) • short fiction by Lady Wilde
    65 • Herb-Healing • (1900) • essay by Lady Gregory
    71 • The Warlock • (1955) • novelette by Jean Stafford
    105 • The Witch: A Tale of the Dark Ages • (1841) • short story by Elizabeth P. Hall
    126 • Letter from Massachusetts: 1688 • short story by Seon Manley
    139 • The Salem Witches and Their Own Voices: Examination of Sarah Good • (1692) • essay by Ezekiel Cheever
    144 • The Midnight Voyage of the Seagull • (1842) • novelette by Mrs. Volney E. Howard
    183 • The Book • (1930) • short story by Margaret Irwin
    205 • No Witchcraft for Sale • (1964) • short story by Doris Lessing
    217 • Biographical Notes (Sisters of Sorcery) • (1976) • essay by uncredited


  • Moon Mirror (1988) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-93098-4, LCCN 88020136, $17.95, 250pg ~ cover by Yvonne Gilbert


Non-English Editions ~

  • As La cruna dell'ago [The eye of the needle] (1979) Published in Bologna, Italy; by Libra Editrice, Saturno. Collana di fantascienza n. 19, 2.500 lir, 186pg ~ translated by Roberta Rambelli ~ cover by Allison ~ Italian title Le terre degli incantesimi [The lands of spells]



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