Spotlight on Alaska Books: Sleetmute: A True Story of Alaska, by Stan Resnicoff

It was probably January when I decided to move a short
distance into an abandoned log cabin right on the riverbank. Now there were two
things I didn’t know.  First, it was
abandoned because it’s too cold right on the river, and if that wasn’t enough,
this cabin had been lifted up in a flood and rotated so now its front door
faced north. Right into the wind. I didn’t know. I thought it looked good. It
was impossible to heat.
That night, with no warning, I got sick. Really sick. I
became very weak. I had a fever and I was burning up. I felt terrible and to
top it off I had to take a wicked shit.
I can’t claim to have been thinking clearly but the only
thing on my mind was to make it to the little outhouse near my previous cabin.
It wasn’t far. Maybe 2 football fields away. I already had on two pairs of
thermal woven cotton long-johns. I put on sweaters. I got on my parka. I opened
the door.
It was brutal. Maybe 40 below. It was 4 am.  (from Sleetmute: A True Story of Alaska, by
Stan Resnicoff)
New York City. 1968. I was 24. I had
just graduated from college. I applied to VISTA (Volunteers in Service to
America) as a possible deferment from the Army and Vietnam. I was young and I
thought I knew everything. I figured if they had VISTA in any state they had to
have VISTA in every state. I requested an assignment in Hawaii.
So naturally, six months later I’m in
the very remote, tiny Eskimo village of Sleetmute, Alaska. No streets, no
electricity, no phones, no television, no signs, no law. I’m wearing everything
I own. I’m hunting for my food. It’s fifty degrees below zero and it’s getting
Kirkus Reviews said Sleetmute is “incredibly
entertaining” and also “Resnicoff’s encounters fascinate not only because they
introduce readers to a world few have ever seen, but also because he’s a gifted
storyteller. He channels his 24-year-old self’s confusion and naïveté in a way
that is by turns hilarious, endearing and often quite moving.”
After Sleetmute, Stan spent three warmer years in Honolulu
designing creative educational materials for the children of Hawaii. He then
accepted a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at M.I.T for
work that he was doing on natural sensory playgrounds called ‘Playcanos’. While
in Boston he was also the exhibits designer for the Boston Children’s Museum,
and later he designed creative learning games and experiences for the American
Museum of Natural History (NY), the Bronx Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution.
In 1982 he joined Mattel Toys as an educational software
designer eventually becoming the Director of their ‘blue-sky’ toy research
group. He designed the award winning GeoSafari CD-ROM series. More recently,
his first children’s book, ‘Stanley, the Seal of Approval’ was published by
Random House and it, as well as several other of his children’s books and
movies are now available online. He lives in Redondo Beach, California.
AMAZON (paperback and kindle):

Would you like to see your book featured here? Check out our Spotlight on Alaska Books guidelines and submit today!

2 thoughts on “Spotlight on Alaska Books: Sleetmute: A True Story of Alaska, by Stan Resnicoff”


    Dear Stan,
    I read your book on Kindle. I am interested in personal histories of time spent in rural Alaska, as I write in that "arena," too. I enjoyed the history of the VISTA period. You may know that some of that group, stayed, married, raised kids there and are still in rural Alaska (No implication in that, that you should have done the same more like, "Isn't that amazing?") As I recall, Chris Cooke was one – now his daughter heads a Native Corporation. I used to be more sure of all who came in that group. I learned recently that Jess Jessie, who heads the Mental Health Trust was a VISTA back then. Same years? Same decade? I am not sure, but as you pointed out the plug was pulled – so no more VISTAS, after a certain point. Your default method of functioning in the village, holds some appeal to me(i.e, don't do anything much). Much later, doing mental health village work, I'd mainly reinforce what was already happening telling people I have no answers. They were doing the right thing. They have 10,000 years experience at loss and grief in the great outback. I plan to begin to collect the documents related to rural work, publish as a collection or journal. If it's a stand alone "anthology" it will be titled, "Chop Wood, Carry Honey Buckets." You can connect with me at, if you want. ~ Sandy Kleven, editor, CIRQUE

    Work from home theory is fast gaining popularity because of the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. Since one is not bound by fixed working hours, they can schedule their work at the time when they feel most productive and convenient to them. Women & Men benefit a lot from this concept of work since they can balance their home and work perfectly. People mostly find that in this situation, their productivity is higher and stress levels lower. Those who like isolation and a tranquil work environment also tend to prefer this way of working. Today, with the kind of communication networks available, millions of people worldwide are considering this option.

    Women & Men who want to be independent but cannot afford to leave their responsibilities at home aside will benefit a lot from this concept of work. It makes it easier to maintain a healthy balance between home and work. The family doesn't get neglected and you can get your work done too. You can thus effectively juggle home responsibilities with your career. Working from home is definitely a viable option but it also needs a lot of hard work and discipline. You have to make a time schedule for yourself and stick to it. There will be a time frame of course for any job you take up and you have to fulfill that project within that time frame.

    There are many things that can be done working from home. A few of them is listed below that will give you a general idea about the benefits of this concept.

    This is the most common and highly preferred job that Women & Men like doing. Since in today's competitive world both the parents have to work they need a secure place to leave behind their children who will take care of them and parents can also relax without being worried all the time. In this job you don't require any degree or qualifications. You only have to know how to take care of children. Parents are happy to pay handsome salary and you can also earn a lot without putting too much of an effort.

    For those who have a garden or an open space at your disposal and are also interested in gardening can go for this method of earning money. If given proper time and efforts nursery business can flourish very well and you will earn handsomely. But just as all jobs establishing it will be a bit difficult but the end results are outstanding.

    Freelance can be in different wings. Either you can be a freelance reporter or a freelance photographer. You can also do designing or be in the advertising field doing project on your own. Being independent and working independently will depend on your field of work and the availability of its worth in the market. If you like doing jewellery designing you can do that at home totally independently. You can also work on freelancing as a marketing executive working from home. Wanna know more, email us on and we will send you information on how you can actually work as a marketing freelancer.

    Internet related work
    This is a very vast field and here sky is the limit. All you need is a computer and Internet facility. Whatever field you are into work at home is perfect match in the software field. You can match your time according to your convenience and complete whatever projects you get. To learn more about how to work from home, contact us today on workfromhome.otr214423@gmail.comand our team will get you started on some excellent work from home projects.

    Diet food
    Since now a days Women & Men are more conscious of the food that they eat hence they prefer to have homemade low cal food and if you can start supplying low cal food to various offices then it will be a very good source of income and not too much of efforts. You can hire a few ladies who will help you out and this can be a good business.

    Thus think over this concept and go ahead.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top