The Creatures at the
Absolute Bottom of the Sea
Rosemary McGuire ’05
2014, UA Press
A man witnesses a tragic accident that calls his own life into question.
A young woman meets her high school sweetheart after many years and seeks to make sense of the separate paths they’ve taken. A soldier home from Iraq tries to rebuild his life in a remote Alaska village. These are fishing stories, told as such stories are meant to be: simple, often coarse, and tinged with the elemental beauty of the sea. They reflect rugged lives lived on the edge of the ocean’s borders, where grief and grace ride the same waves. Rosemary McGuire, a fisherman herself, captures the essential humanity at the heart of each tale. No one comes through unscathed, but all retain a sense of hope and belief in earthly miracles, however humble. A dazzling debut, “The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea” will leave readers with a sense of the fragility and beauty inherent in eroded lives spent in proximity to danger.
Edge of Nowhere
John Smelcer ’86, ’87
2014, Leapfrog Press
Sixteen–year–old Seth Evanoff and his dog, Tucker, are swept off his father’s fishing boat during a storm in Prince William Sound, Alaska. For months, the shipwrecked teen and his dog island–hop their way across the sound on their journey home. All the while, Seth’s father never gives up hope. “Edge of Nowhere” is much more than an adventure–survival novel. It’s also a story about reconciliation, a father’s love for his son, about heritage, and about struggling to overcome grief. Throughout the book is the message that we all need to unplug ourselves occasionally from technology and media, especially young people. Adapted from a true story.
Prayer in Wind
Eva Saulitis ’93, ’99
2015, Boreal Books/Red Hen Press
“Prayer is often an inward gesture; the self in contemplation, in quiet reflection or retreat, eyes closed and hands still. The prayer–poems of Eva Saulitis’ newest book, however, reach out as they reach in. They give attention to the birds, family, friends, machinery, history, skies and horizons. The fact that illness, which can be such an isolating and alienating experience, finally brings the poet into this rich, nuanced relationship with the world is both moving and inspiring. ‘Prayer in Wind’ is a hymn to life itself and all that conspires to make it meaningful.”