If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name (Paperback)
News from Small-Town Alaska
Algonquin Books, 9781565125247, 296pp.
Publication Date: March 29, 2006
Other Editions of This Title:
Tiny Haines, Alaska, is ninety miles north of Juneau, accessible mainly by water or air—and only when the weather is good. There's no traffic light and no mail delivery; people can vanish without a trace and funerals are a community affair. Heather Lende posts both the obituaries and the social column for her local newspaper. If anyone knows the going-on in this close-knit town—from births to weddings to funerals—she does.
Whether contemplating the mysterious death of eccentric Speedy Joe, who wore nothing but a red union suit and a hat he never took off, not even for a haircut; researching the details of a one-legged lady gold miner's adventurous life; worrying about her son's first goat-hunting expedition; observing the awe-inspiring Chilkat Bald Eagle Festival; or ice skating in the shadow of glacier-studded mountains, Lende's warmhearted style brings us inside her small-town life. We meet her husband, Chip, who owns the local lumber yard; their five children; and a colorful assortment of quirky friends and neighbors, including aging hippies, salty fishermen, native Tlingit Indians, and volunteer undertakers—as well as the moose, eagles, sea lions, and bears with whom they share this wild and perilous land.
Like Bailey White's tales of Southern life or Garrison Keillor's reports from the Midwest, NPR commentator Heather Lende's take on her offbeat Alaskan hometown celebrates life in a dangerous and breathtakingly beautiful place.
About the Author
Praise For If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska…
“Lende offers touching stories about neighbors with whom she shares wedding celebrations, potluck dinners, tears for missing fishermen—all the joys and sorrows of family life in a remote town.”
“[A] beautiful, funny, compassionate story. . . . When, now and again, you reading is interrupted by tears, they will be the sweet sort.”
—Michael Perry, author of Montaigne in Barn Boots
“Part Annie Dillard, part Anne Lamott, essayist and NPR commentator Heather Lende introduces readers to life in the town of Haines, Alaska . . . subtly reminding readers to embrace each day, each opportunity, each life that touches our own and to note the beauty of it all.”
—The Los Angeles Times
“Dense and powerful. . . . Tiny jewels that, gathered together, create a stunning effect of pure, dazzling light.”
—The Grand Rapids Press
“This is something tender and brave—using death as an introduction to lives and loves and fabric of community in a northern town. Heather Lende provides powerful witness.”
—Seth Kantner, author of Ordinary Wolves