Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Celebrating Alaska's authors


A host of local programs will be held in observance of Alaska Book Week, Oct. 5-12.

The week is a statewide celebration of Alaska’s authors and books sponsored by “49 Writers,” a group of Alaska authors, and participating libraries. “It’s a way for us to feature authors from Alaska and Haines,” said Jessie Morgan, education and cultural coordinator for Haines Borough Public Library.

Authors Erin McKittrick and husband Brentwood Higman of Seldovia will present “Small Feet, Big Land: Adventure, Home and Family on the Edge of Alaska,” a slide show and signing of their book by the same name starting at 5 p.m.

In 2007 and 2008, Higman and McKittrick packed, paddled and skied from Seattle to the Aleutian Islands, an adventure documented in McKittrick’s book, “A Long Trek Home: 4,000 Miles by Boot, Raft and Ski.”

Now they have two young children and write about wilderness forays with youngsters in tow. McKittrick wrote about a journey to the village of Point Hope:

“I first stepped into a Native village as a new college graduate, visiting Alaska for a summer of adventure. Now I was a pregnant mother of a toddler, visiting from another little village a few hundred miles to the south. We talked about kids. We talked about our own berry harvest back home. We were a family, traveling at a family’s speed. As we move farther from the world of single-white-male adventurers, we find that people seem to see us differently.”

Haines author Heather Lende will speak 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, with readings from her published and unpublished work, including excerpts from “Finding the Good,” an upcoming book of essays, and a selection from a manuscript of a novel. The talk will include a question-and-answer period.

Eleanor Millard, a writer from the Yukon Territory, will offer “Introduction to Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction,” starting 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. She’ll also present “Self Editing,” starting 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. At 4 p.m. on Saturday, Millard will be reading from her recent novel “Summer Snow.”

Millard’s writing includes Northern themes, including relations between whites and First Nations people. A previous book, “Journeys Outside and In,” is a piece of creative nonfiction about Millard’s experiences in the North and in Central America.

Alaska Book Week will include library displays of books by Haines and Alaska authors, Morgan said.