University of Alaska PRESS

Book Detail

Book Cover

152 p., 20 halftones, 1 map, 6 x 9

Format: paper and electronic, click "Buy This Book" for pricing options.

Price: $15.95

2013

Gaining Daylight

Life on Two Islands

by Loewen, Sara



For many, the idea of living off the land is a romantic notion left to stories of olden days or wishful dreams at the office. But it becomes Sara Loewen's way of life each summer as her family settles into their remote cabin on Uyak Bay for the height of salmon season. With this connection to thousands of years of fishing and gathering at its core, Gaining Daylight explores what it means to balance lives on two islands, living both within an ancient way of life and the modern world. Her personal essays integrate natural and island history with her experiences of fishing and family life as well as the challenges of living at the northern edge of the Pacific.

Loewen’s writing is richly descriptive; readers can almost feel heat from wood stoves, smell smoking salmon, and spot the ways the ocean blues change with the season. With honesty and humor, Loewen easily draws readers into her world, sharing the rewards of subsistence lifestyle and the peace brought by miles of crisp solitude.

With quiet grace, Lowen writes of her children, marriage, and home and her place within it. More pragmatic than romantic, this is what life in Alaska is really about.

—Booklist Online

Loewen's essays are exquisite slices of life . . . this solemn, spare book is an intimate and loving look at a life that very few people live."

Publishers Weekly

[Gaining Daylight] is a wonderful debut that deftly spans Loewen’s own inner and Alaskan geographies with a rare intimacy, elegance, and steadfastness. Like the tides on Uyak Bay, the essays move with a certain rightness and loveliness, a definite rhythm—and so we are moved by them.

—Terrain.org

Sara Loewen

Sara Loewen teaches writing at Kodiak College during the winter and spends the summer in Uyak Bay with her husband and two sons, where they fish commercially for salmon.

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