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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.
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.