A white boy transplanted from Chicago to the Arctic tundra of Alaska finds himself struggling to adapt to his new home, where he must learn to hunt, fish, and live off the land, separated from the constant call of consumer culture.
Seth Kantner, who himself grew up in a sod igloo in Alaska, writes his first novel about a boy with a similar background. Cutuk's father, a white man from Chicago, fell in love with the region on a visit and remained there with his wife to raise a family, living off the land. Cutuk's mother, disillusioned with the rigors of their life, has been gone for years, and now his siblings are forsaking their heritage as well: his brother moves away, and his sister goes off to college to become a teacher. Cutuk is coming of age, and must decide what he wants from life. Part of his dilemma is that he is a white in a native Alaskan culture, to which he feels both lifelong ties and an inescapable alienation--and he experiences painful instances of discrimination from the Native Americans. In Cutuk's attempts to reconcile his love of the land with his attraction to the city--including some humorous instances of culture shock--Kantner has written not only an absorbing story of a young man growing up in a challenging environment, but a probing look at the effects of modernity on the vanishing natural landscape and its people.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Psychology, General, Literary, Stages of Life, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Conflicts + Dualities
- May 17, 2005
- May 17, 2005
- Seth Kantner