Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Deb: Wild Dominion

Years ago, I woke with a vivid image in my head: a large black wolf. I have no idea how that wolf got into my dreams. I didn’t even know at the time that wolves might be black.

Fast forward several years. I opened the newspaper to a photo of my dream-wolf, a black one named Romeo. He lived in Juneau, at Mendenhall Glacier, and he was famous not only in Alaska but all over the world.

That wolf of my dreams inspired a book. Earlier this year, the University of Alaska Press released Black Wolf of the Glacier: Alaska’s Romeo. Several months later, Marybeth Holleman’s Among Wolves came out, also from the Press. We traded books and discovered what each had to say about the social lives of wolves and their interactions with humans.

Then Sherry Simpson’s Dominion of Bears was released, adding fresh perspectives on wildlife here in Alaska, where we share natural, urban, and cultural landscapes with amazing and complex creatures.

How do these animals shape our ideas about wilderness and identity? In what ways do the creatures that inhabit our imaginations differ from the ones that inhabit our lives? What can we learn from the passion and wonder of those who dedicate themselves to the study of wildlife? In our work, each of us ponder these questions.

You'll find all three books autographed and on sale (20% off) through Sunday at the Anchorage Museum Shop, one of only a few independent booksellers in Anchorage...and they do mail orders, too! 

Deb Vanasse is the author of several books for children and adults, including the Junior Literary Guild selection A Distant Enemy and Battle Books Totem Tale and Lucy’s Dance. Her twelfth book, Black Wolf of the Glacier, is a 2013 release by the University of Alaska Press.

Marybeth Holleman is author of The Heart of the Sound, co-author of Among Wolves, and co-editor of Crosscurrents North. Her essays, poems, and articles have appeared in dozens of journals, magazines, and anthologies.

Sherry Simpson is the author of Dominion of Bears: Living with Wildlife in Alaska and two collections of essays, The Accidental Explorer and The Way Winter Comes, which won the inaugural Chinook Literary Prize. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies.