Quite a week here in Alaska. A lot of us still feel as my daughter did when I woke her at 8 a.m. last Friday to tell her Alaska was making history. As we watched McCain introduce his new running mate, my daughter said, “I have this feeling that in a little while I’m going to wake up saying, ‘Wow, I just had the weirdest dream.'”

We’ve heard a lot of misinformation about Alaska. Anyone with a 907 area code apparently breezed through call screeners on national talk radio. I tuned in as one woman was bragging about how Sarah’s very own lieutenant governor had just beat out that bad old boy Ted Stevens in the state’s primary election. News flash: Sarah’s LG ran against Don Young in a race that was too close to call; we’ll see where it stands after absentee and questioned ballots are counted today. All the ensuing radio blather about how anyone who could take on that corrupt SOB Ted Stevens had to be great was a teeny bit misplaced.

Then there was Karl Rove lauding Sarah’s accomplishments as mayor of the second largest city in Alaska. Move over, Fairbanks. I could go on and on with the misrepresentations of fact, all too common in politics as well as in Alaska.

But the flurry has also generated spirited dialogue. The Anchorage Daily News has done a marvelous job of providing coverage. Among the author-related news reported by ADN as well as national media: Sarah’s attempt to fire the Wasilla librarian after she refused to agree to ban books.

Also worth a read is Dena Fox’s fine piece, pubbed in the Alaska Dispatch, “Reflections of Palin from a Christian in Wasilla.” I spent a good deal of my adult life in evangelical churches, and while I worship elsewhere now, I’m always interested in intelligent discourse from a subculture where it takes some guts to step out of the box. Bravo, Dena – I hope we hear more from this Alaskan author.

Non-Sarah, author-friendly upcoming events include Garrison Keillor’s visit next Wednesday, Sept. 10. I hope you were swifter than I was and bought tickets before the show sold out. Bill Sherwonit is signing his new collection of essays, Living with Wilderness, on Thursday, Sept. 11 at Title Wave. And Lance Mackey, two-time consecutive winner of both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest, who may not be an author but who has a great story to tell, is speaking at 7 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Eagle River VFW.


  1. Your blog came up on my “Mackey watch” news searcher… Nice blog, I’ll be reading it now that I’ve found it! Just FYI, Lance is appearing at the Eagle River VFW, not Anchorage; here’s his schedule this weekend:

    September 6th: 1-4 pm Willow, Alaska. Sponsored by the Willow Dog Mushers Assn. Symposium Keynote, Questions and Answers, Panel.

    September 6th: 7-9 Eagle River VFW Post 9785, Iditarod Checkpoint #1, Sponsored by the Chugiak Dog Mushers Assn. Slide presentation and question answer session – Open to the public. Autographs available. A small donation may be asked at the door to support Lance Mackey’s 2008/2009 race season.

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