From the list on the dark, gritty, beautiful truth of Alaska.
Who am I?
I've never been anything but a writer, despite growing up and spending my first 50 years in Alaska. Alaska has been my major topic—what else could it be in that overwhelmingly powerful place?—but it has also been my frustration, because Alaska is a real place that exists in most readers’ minds only as a romantic vision, and they resist any other version. Like the real Eskimos in my book, whose world is melting from climate change as they pump millions of barrels of crude oil from their homeland. The writers I chose are all Alaskans, like me, who tell those stories about the magical, terrifying place that lies behind the Disney version you already know.
Charles' book list on the dark, gritty, beautiful truth of Alaska
Why did Charles love this book?
Haines was best known as a poet, highly respected by other writers but uncompromising and without much commercial success or recognition. This collection of essays in the form of a memoir similarly makes no compromise, dispensing with plot, characters, or even a clear sense of time and geography. Instead, Haines takes the reader deep into the mind of a lone man surviving for decades in the harshest wilderness, thinking, observing, and writing—his own mind. And the writing is so strong, it turns out, that he doesn’t need those usually necessary tools of narrative he pointedly ignores. Instead, we feel the cold, see the hypnotic stars above the snow, and feel the brittle edge of aloneness. Through sheer stylistic austerity, those dark lonely nights are real.