Synopses & Reviews
Place of the Pretend People is a vivid, sensitive account of one woman's choice to live and teach in a Yup'ik Eskimo village and later to make her home in Interior Alaska. A fascinating and unusual memoir, Carolyn Kremers' book is both a journey of cultural discovery and a story of spiritual and artistic seeking.The author offers readers an intimate encounter with Yup'ik culture, modern and traditional, as she describes teaching music and English in Tununak, a village tucked along the windswept Bering Sea coast of Western Alaska. Kremers' experiences in Tununak and elsewhere provide keen insight into the lives and land of the people she grows to love. Through her friendships with Yup'ik people and others, some of the mysteries of life in a challenging northern environment are unraveled, and she begins to understand some of the mysteries within her own heart.
Carolyn Kremer's Place of the Pretend People, which captures a nice respect for the native culture of Alaska and tells of one woman's struggle to adjust to life in the wilds, only to become totally drawn into a sense of community she never felt in the lower forty-eight.
-----Elliott Bay Booknotes
This stunning collection of essays was written by a teacher reflecting on her changed life in the Yup'ik Eskimo village of Tununak.
About the Author
A Colorado native, Carolyn Kremers wanted to live in the Alaskan bush. She accepted an invitation to teach music and English at a school in a remote Yup'ik Eskimo village on Nelson Island, in Western Alaska on the Bering Sea. After teaching for two years in the village of Tununak, she moved to Alaska's Interior, and today she teaches writing and literature part-time at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Kremers earned undergraduate degrees in English and honors humanities from Stanford University and in flute performance from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. She completed her teaching credential at the University of Illinois Chicago, and she holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Early in her career, Kremers received a special citation from the PEN/Jerard Fund Award for emerging women writers of nonfiction. Since then, her essays and poems have appeared on public radio, on the Internet, and in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies. In 2008-09, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Ulan Ude, Russia. She lives in a log cabin in a birch forest outside Fairbanks.