Gustavus author Kim Heacox has won the National Outdoor Book Award for Fiction and Outdoor Literature for his novel, “Jimmy Bluefeather,” published by Alaska Northwest Books.
“Jimmy Bluefeather” is the first original fiction Alaska Northwest Books has released in its 56 years of publishing.
The novel follows a 95-year-old Tlingit-Norwegian-Filipino-Portuguese man named Keb Wisting and his grandson James on a quest to return to their ancestral homeland of Crystal Bay. When an accident ends James’ dreams of basketball glory and leads him to question the worth of his life, Keb, a revered, quirky, culture-bearing elder, begins carving his last canoe, helped by James and the entire town of Jinkaat. They set off towards Crystal Bay, pursued by the government, the news media, and a wider world that would rather keep Keb safe in Jinkaat, taking his pills.
In a release, the award program described the book as “a masterful portrait of the real Alaska.”
Heacox is also the author of “John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire” and “Rhythm of the Wild.” and a memoir, “The Only Kayak.” His feature articles have appeared in Audubon, Travel & Leisure, Wilderness, Islands, Orion, and National Geographic Traveler. His editorials, written for the Los Angeles Times, have appeared in many major newspapers across the United States.
Heacox was also commentator along with Gretel Ehrlich and other environmental VIPs on Ken Burns’s twelve-hour PBS film “The National Parks,” documenting the history of the national parks and the US conservation movement, currently airing on Netflix.
Find out more about the author at http://kimheacox.com/
Read more about this novel at http://juneauempire.com/art/2015-09-16/celebrating-tlingit-canoe-culture