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The Man Who Swam with Beavers Paperback – May 1, 2001

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alaskan transplant Nancy Lord (Survival), a writer and teacher who also fishes commercially for salmon, puts a contemporary spin on indigenous Alaskan folktales in The Man Who Swam with Beavers, and the results are often delightful. Standouts among the 17 stories include "Wolverine Grudge," in which a woman, inspired by an episode of Seinfeld, becomes obsessed with making harassing phone calls to her ex-husband's office. And in the utterly charming title piece, a man leaves behind his job and family to take up residence with a clan of the furry, friendly dam builders. National advertising; author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

There's something for every taste in this eclectic collection of short stories inspired by Native Alaskan myths and legends of the author's adopted state. An Alaskan since 1973, Lord (Fishcamp: Life on an Alaskan Shore, LJ 4/15/97) teaches creative writing at the University of Alaska and is a commercial salmon fisher. In many of these 17 pieces, ranging from poignant and fanciful to depressing or bizarre, animals figure as prominently as people. A retired orthopedic surgeon becomes interested in birds, a wolf-dog can't escape his wildness and lives in both worlds, a woman's wedding to a bear is thwarted because the bear fears excessive civilization, a teenage boy explains his two lesbian mothers, and a ninth-grader tries to adjust to her mother's death from cancer. Readers interested in Alaska or in the contemporary use of folk and fairytales will enjoy this collection. Recommended. Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press; 1st edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566891108
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566891103
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,599,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is nothing "traditional" about this book. Each story offers a new twist to an old tale that launches the reader into strange landscapes, real and imaginary. We're privy to the thoughts of a bear about to marry a woman who wants it all; a wolf-dog who eyes the smooth, white necks of anti-fur activists as they howl at a protest rally; and to a man's tormented dreams of the animals he's killed. Nancy Lord's sharp humor and sense of justice emerges in these stories. Each one opens out into the wider spectrum of living honorably. Sometimes gruesome, often funny, these stories are inventive and a delight to read.
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Format: Paperback
Of course I like this book, since I, like Nancy Lord, have found my home in Alaska. Like her, I ended up fishing and settling into a coastal town with a relatively normal lifestyle.
I really recommend her books because she is not, like Krakauer or Michener or other Alaskan writers, just a tourist. She actually lives here, and you can tell that when reading her books. Finally a writer who doesn't just try to cover a lack of talent with impressive facts about Alaska!
In fact, these stories are not all about Alaska. They are modern short stories of the highest caliber, with a somewhat Japanese feeling at times.
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Format: Paperback
This book goes straight to the favorites shelf. I am so glad to have found it yet so sad I read it already and it is over! Each story is an experience, a dive down into otherwordly beauty and mystery. The cover is perfect for the experience. To almost every story, I found myself saying, I wish I wrote that. Ford has an unusual and refreshing way of presenting literary fiction with hope. Her writing is a delicate balance of intelligence, humor, seriousness and exploration. Love this book!
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Very Enjoyable. Human experiences that reflect life's outcome. Great past Alaska Writers Laureate Nancy Lord. She is so personable and friendly, and informative on Alaskan ways, the environment and politics, and in a natural fluid writing that I enjoyed.
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