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In Once Upon an Eskimo Time, Edna Wilder retells a
year in her Eskimo mother's life. Wilder's mother,
Minnie Nedercook, grew up in the village of
Rocky Point and didn't see a white man until she
was in her early teens. Wilder eloquently captures
the oral storytelling traditions of her people and
employs descriptions of the weather and harsh
climates of Alaska's Norton Sound to illustrate
the hardiness of her mother's spirit. Family values,
subsistence living, and the cycles of life form a
narrative that captures the now-vanished lifestyle
along the Bering Sea.
Edna Wilder was born in Bluff, Alaska, at that time a
small mining community just northwest of Rocky Point,
where this story takes place. She is the daughter of the
late Minnie Nedercook and Arthur Samuel Tucker.
This is Edna Wilder's second book. Her first, Secrets
of Eskimo Skin Sewing, is available from the University of
Alaska Press. The sequel to this book, The Eskimo Girl
and the Englishman, was published by the University of
Alaska Press in 2007.