Village Books is pleased to welcome Heather Lende to the Virtual Readings Gallery where she and Dr. M Jackson will discuss her new book, Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics.
The writer whom the Los Angeles Times calls “part Annie Dillard, part Anne Lamott” now brings us her quirky and compassionate account of holding local office.
Heather Lende was one of the thousands of women inspired to take a more active role in politics during the past few years. Though her entire campaign for assembly member in Haines, Alaska, cost less than $1,000, she won! But tiny, breathtakingly beautiful Haines—a place accessible from the nearest city, Juneau, only by boat or plane—isn’t the sleepy town that it appears to be: from a bitter debate about the expansion of the fishing boat harbor to the matter of how to stop bears from rifling through garbage on Main Street to the recall campaign that targeted three assembly members, including Lende, we witness the nitty-gritty of passing legislation, the lofty ideals of our republic, and how the polarizing national politics of our era play out in one small town.
With an entertaining cast of offbeat but relatable characters, Of Bears and Ballots is an inspirational tale about what living in a community really means, and what we owe one another.
Heather Lende’s many essays and stories, mostly about life and sometimes death in Haines, Alaska have been distributed widely, from The Anchorage Daily News and Christian Science Monitor to NPR and Country Living. She is a former contributing editor at Woman’s Day magazine and for over twenty years has written some 500 obituaries for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines. She is the author of bestselling memoirs Find the Good, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name, and Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs.
Dr. M Jackson is a geographer, glaciologist, TED Fellow, and National Geographic Society Explorer. M earned a doctorate from the University of Oregon where she examined how climate change transformed people and glacier communities in Iceland. M is the recipient of many grants and awards, including three U.S. Fulbright grants and a U.S. Fulbright Ambassadorship. M currently serves as an Arctic Expert for the National Geographic Society, holds a Masters of Science degree from the University of Montana, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. She’s worked for over a decade in the Arctic chronicling climate change and communities, guiding backcountry trips and exploring glacial systems. Her 2015 memoir While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change weaves together the parallel stories of what happens when the climates of a family and a planet change. Her 2019 book, The Secret Lives of Glaciers, explores the profound impacts of glacier change on the human and physical geography of Iceland. She is currently at work on her first novel. M travels extensively giving public talks and lectures on climate change and women in science.