The headline to a review I wrote of this book when it came out in 2004 read, “Caribou Hair Everywhere,” and I can’t think of three words that better describe it. Raised by a father who moved from the Midwest to a sod igloo in remote, northwest Alaska, young Cutuk grows toward an inevitable choice between the wilderness he loves and the modern society that encroaches on it. It’s a world so vividly portrayed (based, clearly, on Kantner’s own upbringing but given an almost mythic structure of its own) that before long you may start to think that your world, in which you don’t tan your own caribou hides for mukluks, is the strange one.
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
Want to read more about Seth Kantner and his books? From our archives, here’s an essay by the author and the great list of 2005 PNBA Award winners.