Synopses & Reviews
Seth Kantnerand#8217;s Ordinary Wolves told the story of a white boy raised in a sod igloo on the Arctic tundra. A heartbreaking vision of a vanishing world, it established Kantner as one of the nationand#8217;s most original and authentic writers. Here, he returns to the setting of his debut novel with an autobiographical account of his own life in a rapidly changing land. Beginning with his parentsand#8217; migration to the Alaskan wilderness in the 1950s and extending to his own attempts to balance hunting with writing, Kantner recalls cold nights wrapped in caribou hides, fur-clad visitors arriving on dog sleds, swimming amidst ice floes for wounded waterfowl, and his longstanding respect for the old Iand#241;upiaq ways. Captured in words and images, these details combine to reveal a singular landscape at a pivotal moment in its history. Both an elegy and a romp, the book illuminates a world few will see as Kantner has.
His story begins with the arrival of his father, Howard Kantner, to the remote Arctic of the 1950s and ends with him as a grown man settled in the same landscape. Through a series of moving essays and vivid photographs, ranging in subject from family histories to hunting stories, celebrations of people and places to a lament over a majestic wilderness rapidly disappearing, "Shopping for Porcupine" provides a compelling, intimate view of America's last frontier -- the same place that captivated so many readers of "Ordinary Wolves."