By Lily H Tuzroyluke,

Book cover of Sivulliq: Ancestor

Book description

In the spring of 1893, arctic Alaska is devastated by smallpox. Kayaliruk knows it is time to light the funeral pyres and leave their home. With her surviving children, she packs their dog sled and they set off to find family. Kayaliruk wakes with a bleeding scalp and no memory…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Sivulliq as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Alaska’s Indigenous people—expert storytellers and artists—have yet to author many works of fiction, so it’s a pleasure to have discovered this new novel by a writer of Inupiaq heritage.

Set in 1893 during a smallpox epidemic, Sivulliq features two viewpoint characters—an Inupiaq mother whose small daughter is kidnapped by a commercial whaling captain and a Black whaler on the whaling ship. The fast-paced plot follows the family’s efforts to find the ship and rescue the child, while life aboard the ship is narrated by the reluctant whaler.

The historic truths brought to life here include the devastation of Native Alaskans…

From Nancy's list on authentic Alaska by Alaskans.

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