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If you lived here, I'd know your name : news from small-town Alaska
Heather Lende
Adult Nonfiction F914.H34 L46 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Lende chronicles the various lives and deaths of the people of Haines, Alaska, an almost inaccessible hamlet 90 miles north of Juneau. In writing her social and obituary columns for Haines's Chilkat Valley News-some of which are included here-she blends reportage and humor. Lende has lived in Haines all her adult life and is well-known in town. She deftly illuminates local color: the sewer plant manager who rides a motorcycle and sports a ZZ Top beard, the high school principal who moonlights as a Roy Orbison impersonator, and the one-legged female gold miner. Lende covers death in her community in all its forms-accidental, intentional and inevitable-and notes, "writing about the dead helps me celebrate the living." While comic, the book also has some sensitive, insightful anecdotes. For example, Lende, a contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, portrays the building of a coffin for a beloved mother by her youngest daughter; the sinking of a family boat with a tender farewell for a fearless fisherman; the mourning of a quirky, civic-minded "aging hippie"; and the goodbye to a Texas woman who hosted an annual Mississippi blues party. Lende's picture of an Alaskan small town is colorful and captivating. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Lende, a journalist for the Chilkat Valley News and contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and NPR's Morning Edition, has spent her adult life in the small town of Haines, AK, 90 miles north of Juneau. Here, she reflects on life and death in Haines, where the landscape is breathtaking, the weather cold, and death never far away, with car wrecks, sinking boats, plane crashes, fire, and ice all taking their toll. And Lende should know; she writes obituaries for her local paper, where each interview with the family of the deceased is a chance to discuss the area's many quirky characters. Throughout, Lende paints a picture of life in a unique setting and writes thoughtfully about her life, family, faith, neighbors, and small-town conflict. She demonstrates how issues and events can bring a town together or divide friends: school boards, zoning adjustments, environmental protection, or people's losses can easily consume a small community. This absorbing and reflective homage to a place is recommended for public libraries and academic collections focusing on regional, rural, or place studies. [Haines Borough Public Library is the first library chosen as LJ's Best Small Library in America (LJ 2/1/05); a Q&A with Lende is coming in the next issue.-Ed.]-Melissa Stearns, Franklin Pierce Coll., Rindge, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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