Andromeda: Big Alaska books coming this year!

I happened to be clicking around randomly on just a few of our Alaska writer website sidebar links, and I was pleased to see several exciting Alaska-authored books coming our way. This is not a complete list — in fact, I’m hoping you’ll tell me what I’m missing, whether the forthcoming books are yours or someone else’s.

Just to get the list going, I noticed: Raven’s Gift by Don Rearden, due out in November from Penguin Canada. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale set in a Yupik Eskimo village, already blurbed by mega-bestselling author Jodi Picoult. I’m looking forward to finding out if the book is coming out in a U.S. edition, and how Rearden snagged that powerful blurb. Rearden is also a screenwriter, and this sounds like a story fit for both book and screen.

The Fate of Nature by Charles Wohlforth is due out in June from St. Martin’s. Following on the heels of the award-winning The Whale and the Supercomputer, this book looks at how culture — not technology — could be the key to saving our environment. Wohlforth has recently started blogging and among the things he’s posted is a happy reaction to his getting a great blurb from Robert Kennedy, Jr. Expect lots of buzz this June for this book.

Heather Lende’s Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs will be published by Algonquin Books in May. Lende’s new book reintroduces Haines, the small Alaska community that helped her get back on her feet after a nearly fatal cycling accident. (I’m going to need Kleenex for this one.) Based on the success of her last nonfiction book, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name (which is in a seventh printing, according to her website) Lende will be getting lots of press, and I’m happy to see the Daily News already started the boll rolling with a short news item about Lende’s early reviews.

Two more authors I look forward to reading soon: Cinthia Ritchie, and Rich Chiappone. They both have new works of fiction in the publishing pipeline, but my quick Googling didn’t land me at author websites. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Cinthia and Rich very soon!

If you lived in Alaska 15 to 20 years ago, confirm my memory — didn’t we used to have maybe 1 or 2 fairly big books coming out each year (not counting smaller, regionally pubbed books)? In this year, we’ll have five times that many.

Tell me what others I’ve missed.

7 thoughts on “Andromeda: Big Alaska books coming this year!”

  1. Thanks for the note about my novel, Andromeda! I'll suppose I will have to disclose my secrets about getting blurbs — right after you write me one.
    I kid!

    I'll try to get your questions answered at some point today…

    For now there are essays and essays to go before I sleep.

  2. Hi, nice article. However, the link to Don Rearden's web site is wrong. It is, (you just added a little something at the end). Would it be possible to fix that?
    Full disclosure, I'm the designer of his website!

  3. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Fixed! Thanks for catching that.

    And may I say, that's one very nice looking website.

  4. Well, I dunno if mine is a "big" book, but it's a book, it's mine, and it's coming out this year.
    _Fallen Embers_ (Pearlsong Press), the first in the _Embers_ series, will be released this fall. See, or email me at

  5. Andromeda –
    To answer your question about how I snagged a blurb from Jodi P. —- I met her while she was at UAA giving a craft talk. Jo-Ann Mapson introduced us. Jodi was pondering including an Alaskan character in her next novel. I said she couldn't do that until she met some real Alaskan characters. So I invited her out to Bethel, my old stomping grounds (in the craft talk she'd discussed going "ghost-hunting" with the actual ghost hunter dudes from the television show, and so I figured if she could handle ghost hunting she could handle Bethel – which she did quite well).
    So I took her around the tundra and well…she didn't freeze to death and we became friends, I helped her with some stuff on the book and thus the blurb.
    Now all I need is for .00001 percent of her fans to buy my book when it comes out and I can retire!

  6. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Good blurb story, Don! And it shows that connections matter, but your connection was of a generous and meaningful sort (nice of you to show her around Bethel; very cool that you've stayed in touch since) and that makes me glad.

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