Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More on Flight of the Goose

Lesley Thomas, author of Flight of the Goose, responded to my earlier posting about her book with the following comment:
Thank you for your interest in my novel! The reviewer didn’t write the name correctly of the bird - it should be “Tallin’s goose.” It is a fictional goose, loosely based on Canada/brant/emperor but realistically reliant on the coastal salt marshes of the Bering Strait and Chukchi area of NW Alaska. I grew up there with Inupiaq Eskimo subsistence family members, and later went on to study arctic ecology and do field research on the effects of oil spills on such vital migratory bird habitat. My “birdman” in the novel is based on my colleagues who counted “goose poops” and were the object of amusement by the locals. Though not a professional ornithologist, I study bird science and bird lore, and weave science and indigenous shamanistic themes into my novel. “Flight of the Goose” is popular with birders in Seattle and Alaska (where the book, published by a very small press, has largely been sold [out] since it was released in 05). It has been endorsed by ornithologist Dr. George Divoky of arctic warming fame, who was written up in the NYT in a article “Divoky’s Planet.” We’ve presented together - my novel as the “human side of climate change in the Arctic.” Famous anthropologists, Native Alaskans (some who hunt birds to feed their families) and shamans also endorse the novel, which recently won a national award.
I suggest that you check out the personal Web site of Ms. Thomas, then go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble to read excerpts of the novel and see the reviews that others have written about what sounds to be a truly exceptional book. I just sent in my order tonight!

Note added 08/22/06: Also see this complimentary review from University Week, the staff and student newspaper of the University of Washington.

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