Surviving the Island of Grace by Leslie Leyland Fields
A Memoir of Alaska

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Reminiscent of the best of Matthiessen, Dillard, and Erlich, Leslie Leyland Fields's Alaskan memoir is an inspiring narrative of life in the wild.

Surviving the Island of Grace is a beautiful and haunting memoir of a woman who left the East Coast and moved to Alaska looking for a new life. In brilliant prose, Leslie Fields tells her story of adapting to life on a wilderness island without running water, telephones, or other 20th century conveniences. Here, as a 20-year-old newlywed, she is immersed into the world of commercial salmon fishing. With an unflinching gaze, she explores the extremes that define her new life: the beauty and brutality of commercial fishing, the startling land and seascape around her, the isolation, the physical labor, the intensity of communal island life. Among these extremes, she must find her way from a young woman to wife, commercial fisherwoman, and mother. She explores as well, perhaps most eloquently of all, her unique New Hampshire childhood and its role in preparing her for her life in the bush.

With its dramatic Alaskan setting and moving narrative, Surviving the Island of Grace is a poetic and powerful book.

About Leslie Leyland Fields

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Leslie Leyland Fields lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska, where she divides her time between teaching and commercial fishing. Winters she teaches English at Kodiak College and runs The Northern Pen, a professional writing business; summers, she moves out to her remote fishcamp island where she has worked with her family in commercial salmon fishing since 1978. Her five children, ranging in age from fourteen years to one, increase the island's population to seven. Much of her writing is done here in a little cabin on a dock over the Pacific Ocean. Fields has written three other books: Out on the Deep Blue (St. Martin's Press, 2001), The Entangling Net: Alaska's Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their Lives (University of Illinois Press, 1997), and The Water Under the Fish (Trout Creek Press, 1995). Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Orion, The Christian Science Monitor, Experiencing Nature, and others. She can be reached at
Published October 17, 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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From the author/editor of several books about commercial fishing (Out on the Deep Blue, 2001, etc.), a more personal work chronicling her 23 summers spent pulling salmon from Alaskan waters.

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