Recent and upcoming Alaska books

Recent and upcoming Alaska books

In honor of Alaska Book Week, observed Oct. 3-10, here’s a partial list of Alaska-related books published in the past few months, or due to be published soon.



“This Is How It Really Sounds: A Novel” by Stuart Cohen, St. Martin’s Press, April, 2015. Stuart Cohen’s latest novel follows three men, each in search of a different life: a small-town Alaskan, a world-famous financier and a middle-aged rock star. Author Cohen lives in Juneau. Two of his novels, “Invisible World” and “17 Stone Angels,” have been translated into 10 languages; a third, “The Army of the Republic,” has been optioned for film by Oliver Stone.

“Cabin, Clearing, Forest” by Zach Falcon, University of Alaska Press, October 2015. This collection of 13 stories set in contemporary Alaska includes “Blue Ticket,” in which a stranger finds solace in a Juneau homeless encampment, and “Every Island Longs for the Continent,” in which a young family falls apart after moving to Kodiak. Alaska-born author Zach Falcon is a former Juneau and Ketchikan resident who currently lives in Maine.

“Jimmy Bluefeather” by Kim Heacox, Alaska Northwest Books, September 2015. This novel tells the story of Old Keb Wisting, a part Norwegian, part Tlingit elder and the last living canoe carver in the village of Jinkaat, who embarks on canoe journey with his grandson. Author Kim Heacox of Gustavus is also the author of “John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire” and “Rhythm of the Wild.”

“The Geography of Water” by Mary Emerick, University of Alaska Press, November 2015. In this novel set on the outer coast of Southeast Alaska, heroine Winnie must return to her volatile family’s isolated bay when her mother disappears into the wilderness. Author Mary Emerick lives in northeast Oregon.

“The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea” by Rosemary McGuire, University of Alaska Press, March 2015. This debut book of short fiction focuses on life in Alaska’s fishing communities. Author Rosemary McGuire has worked as a commercial fisherman for 14 years, and has traveled most of Alaska’s river systems by canoe.

“Nowhere Else to Go but Dyea” by Nita Nettleton, Lynn Canal Publishing, May 2015. This book tells the story of Henry Stillwater, recently released from prison, who heads north to a new life in the old gold rush settlement of Dyea near Skagway. Author Nita Nettleton lives in Skagway.

“Injustice” by Lee Goodman, Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books, September 2015. A legal thriller featuring federal prosecutor Nick Davis, introduced to readers in Goodman’s first book, “Indefensible.” Author Lee Goodman is a former attorney and commercial salmon fisherman who lives outside Anchorage.



“A Ladder of Cranes” by Tom Sexton, University of Alaska Press March 2015. A new collection of poetry by former Alaska poet laureate Tom Sexton, professor emeritus of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“I Follow in the Dust She Raises” by Linda Martin, University of Alaska Press, March 2015. A new collection of poems by Linda Martin, of Homer, who operates a glass shop with her husband.

“Overwinter” by Jeremy Pataky, University of Alaska Press, March 2015. A debut poetry collection from Jeremy Pataky. who lives in Anchorage and McCarthy, and is a founding board member of 49 Writers.



Beers of the North: A Field Guide to Alaska & the Yukon” by Katie Devereaux and Clint J. Farr, edited by Colleen Mondor, Shorefast Editions, September 2015. Styled like a vintage field guide, this beer book includes retro illustrations, maps, historical sidebars, and profiles that highlight Alaska and the Yukon’s breweries. Author Clint J. Farr is a Juneau writer and a Capital City weekly columnist. See this week’s Arts for details on his First Friday booksigning at Hearthside Books.



“Picture Man: The Legacy of Southeast Alaska Photographer Shoki Kayamori” by Margaret Thomas, University of Alaska Press, April 2015. Shoki Kayamori photographed life in Yakutat for three decades beginning in 1912, gaining the nickname “Picture Man.” Margaret Thomas’ book is part history, part biography, part photographic showcase. Thomas, of Olympia Wash., is a librarian and journalism instructor at South Puget Sound Community College.

“Attu Boy: A Young Alaskan’s WWII Memoir” by Nick Golodoff, University of Alaska Press, May 2015. Author Nick Golodoff became a Japanese prisoner of war at 6 years old when the island of Attu was invaded in 1942. Golodoff (1935–2013) lived his life in the Aleutian Islands.



“Swallowed by the Great Land: And Other Dispatches from Alaska’s Frontier” by Seth Kantner, Mountaineers Books, August 2015. Seth Kantner’s latest book features slice-of-life essays previously published in the Anchorage Daily News and Orion magazine. Kantner is a fisherman, writer, and photographer who was born and raised in northern Alaska. See related story in this week’s Arts.

“Ed Ricketts from Cannery Row to Sitka, Alaska” edited by Janice M. Straley, Shorefast Editions, November 2015. Marine biologist Ed Ricketts, immortalized as the character “Doc” in John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row,” traveled from Monterey, Calif., to Sitka in 1932 on an ocean journey that inspired his research on wave shock theory. This new book presents Ricketts’s wave shock essay for the first time, accompanied by family photos and recollections from his daughter, Nancy Ricketts. Ricketts and editor Jan Straley live in Sitka.

“Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer” by Heather Lende, Algonquin Books, April 2015. This collection of short nonfiction pieces offers a perspective from which to view our relationships, community and the world. Author Heather Lende, of Haines, writes for the Alaska Dispatch News and the Chilkat Valley News and is the author of “If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name,” and “Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs.”

“Fierce Climate Sacred Ground,” An Ethnography of Climate Change in Shishmaref, Alaska” by Elizabeth Marino, University of Alaska Press, September 2015. Elizabeth Marino focuses on the village of Shishmaref as a place where people in a close-knit community are confronting the realities of our changing planet.

“Kal’unek From Karluk: Kodiak Alutiiq History and the Archaeology of the Karluk One Village Site” by Amy Steffian, Marnie Leist, Sven Haakanson, Jr., Patrick Saltonstall, University of Alaska Press, May 2015. This book explores an archeological site from which researchers and community members recovered more than 26,000 items made of wood, bone, ivory, baleen, antler, and leather. It also features essays by community members and scholars and a glossary of Alutiiq terms.

“Exploring and Mapping Alaska: The Russian America Era, 1741-1867” by Alexey Postnikov, Marvin Falk and Lydia Black, University of Alaska Press, June 2015. This book focuses on a foundational period in Arctic cartography. Marvin Falk is professor and curator of rare books emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Lydia Black was professor of anthropology at UAF.



Alaska Sampler 2015, Running Fox Books. This collection is focused on Alaska-inspired fiction and nonfiction, edited by 49 Writers co-founder Deb Vanesse, founder of Running Fox Books.

Alaska Quarterly Review, University of Alaska Anchorage. A literary magazine published by Ronald Spatz that highlights work by writers from Alaska and beyond. Find out more at

Tidal Echoes, University of Alaska Southeast. This journal showcases the writing and art of Southeast Alaskans. Find out more at

Recent and upcoming Alaska books
Recent and upcoming Alaska books

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