Having just finished Seth Kantner’s Shopping for Porcupine , I was reflecting on how, in a few short paragraphs, I could convey the way Kantner spreads the real Alaska before his readers like a humble gift. Stark. Powerful. Intimate. In stunning contrast with the un-Alaskan theatrics being played out on the global stage by Governor Sarah Palin as she stumps for a big promotion.

Then I read Kantner’s essay “That Sarah Palin is one unreal Alaskan,” posted today in the Alaska Dispatch. In typically unassuming style, Kantner nails it.

So does his book. No preaching. No politics. No cliches. Raised in a sod house by parents who left the city to follow the traditional ways of the Inupiat in the arctic, Kantner writes of a life that’s raw, unusual, and tough. His books pulses with the real Alaska, the one most will never see.

Get this book, and read it. For me, it was like coming home.

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