Monday, August 17, 2009
From Publishing Perspectives:
By Gwen Dawson in Anchorage
Before Sarah Palin you betcha'd her way into the cultural consciousness, Alaska was perhaps best known as the setting for the hit television show Northern Exposure. The cliche was that it was a remote, distant and icy land, a place marked not by the works of man but, rather, by his absence. The few people who lived there there dressed in heavy coats much of the year and had 10,000 words for snow.
Of course, Palin's vice-presidential candidacy did little to complicate this picture. The more she told us about Alaska and its fierce individuality, the more entrenched were the cliches. Culturally, she did introduce America to hockey Moms and dads who raced snow machines (when most Americans thought they were called snowmobiles).
But what of literary life in Alaska?
Were Palin's rumored attempts to jettison controversial books from Alaskan libraries only more proof of Alaska's presumed cultural insularity or an aberration? (read on ...)