Wednesday, April 26, 2006
If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name
I first read about Heather Lende's book about small-town Alaska in Marilyn Johnson's book, The Dead Beat. Heather Lende is a newspaper columnist who writes the social column and obituaries for the Chikkat Valley News, a weekly newspaper. Lende is also a resident of Haines, Alaska, a town of 2,400 people, where she lives with her husband and five kids. Lende writes with her heart about the people she celebrates in her columns. She shares the family's grief when a young fisherman is lost at sea. She celebrates that same family when the mother rises over grief and makes a quilt in tribute to the fishing disaster. She says as an obituary writer, she writes about loss, but more about love. She also said writing them helps her celebrate the living. Lende's book celebrates a place, Haines, Alaska, and the people that make it special.