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Narrow Road to the Deep North

A Journey Into the Interior of Alaska

Katherine McNamara


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Narrow Road to the Deep North is the extraordinary story of a young woman’s experiences among Athabascan Indians in the interior of Alaska. A poet recently returned from the salons of Paris, the author takes a job teaching in a remote region of Alaska. As she comes to know the region and its peoples—and learns to see the visible and invisible world around her—she finds herself more and more the student rather than the teacher.

Her teachers are the native people of the region, especially a woman named Malfa Ivanov, who becomes her guide into the country. Her advice: "Pay attention to what things do in our country, not what they are called in yours." As the author learns to pay attention to the world around her, she finds that the land itself holds a world of spirits and dreams.

A true story on an epic scale, charged with a unique, informed intelligence and told with a relentless realism that portrays Alaska and its people without romanticizing them, this is the moving story of a woman’s path to knowledge in a remote, austere land.

Katherine McNamara is the publisher ofArchipelago, an online literary journal. Her poetry and nonfiction have been widely published in journals and reviews. She lives in Virginia.

Mercury House, 9781562791223, 289pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2001