May 30, 2013

Literary fiction must-reads...Alaska style

SO excited to be joining you all for this post on literary fiction reads. I'm late to the party - at education training all this week- but I had to share some of my favorite lit-fiction authors because they're awesome people AND wonderful writers.

First up is Eowyn Ivey and The Snow Child. She combines beautiful language with a fairy-tale retelling in 1920s Alaska. This book has won numerous awards (the U.K. Guardian's best debut novel award, the Indie Bookseller's Pacific Northwest award AND was short-listed for a Pulitzer) and sits on my shelf as mute testimony that a good story well-told will always get attenion. Plus Eowyn is an acquaintance of mine; we live in the same small town and she consented to be interviewed on my blog before she was famous.

Next, there's Heather Lende's If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name. This is the first book of two in Heather's distinctive narrative nonfiction style about her life in Haines, Alaska. Heather is an obituary writer for her town's weekly newspaper, which is an unusual way to build readership but her stories are so unique (think Garrison Keillor only in Alaska) they're addictive. She has a blog at the same address as the link to her name and she posts gorgeous photos of her hometown, plus amusing/poignant vignettes of her life with family, grandkids, dogs and neighbors.

Her second book, Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs continues her story, which is a blend of personal and narrative essays on, among other things, the meaning of life. I HIGHLY recommend both!

Next up is Dana Stabenow who *cough* is technically a mystery writer but her stuff is so Alaskan, I have to include her in this list. I try to grab both her Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell series whenever they're first published because they're so hard to get at our local library. Dana combines crime sleuthing (Kate is a PI; Liam is an Alaska state trooper) with quirky, Alaskan characters that are almost too good to be fiction....and I have a sneaking suspicion after living here for a while that her best stuff is solidly based on fact.   I just finished Bad Blood last week; go here to find a cool map and a video by Dana about this latest tale. Dana lives part of the year in Anchorage and recently donated land to create a writer's retreat for women. Check it out on her site - it would be an awesome place to write!!

Blogger is acting weird today (sorry for the odd spacing!) so I'm signing off now. Look forward to reading your recommends!!


Suzanne. . said...

I had no idea Alaska was so interesting. I like the idea of the women's writing retreat. I bet Alaska is an inspiring place to write with all the beautiful scenery. If one could get rid of the cold it would be perfect.

Real location: Blogger and Open ID do no let me use this. My Blogger account is dormant.

Dana said...

I need to read The Snow Child. It sounds really good. I don't read as many literary fiction books since I started blogging because they tend to be slower reads for me.

your bookie said...

I love the quote at the top of your blog. Brilliant.

ablightedone said...

Great post! Those books look really interesting!

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

The Snow Child has been on my list for awhile!