Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories
In her debut collection, Melinda Moustakis brings to life a rough-and-tumble family of Alaskan homesteaders through a series of linked stories. Born in Alaska herself to a family with a homesteading legacy, Moustakis examines the near-mythological accounts of the Alaskan wilderness that are her inheritance and probes the question of what it means to live up to larger-than
I’ve always had a soft spot for really good short stories; they’re like perfect espresso: potent, deeply satisfying, an experience you want to draw out, to linger over, to appreciate. There’s so much humanity and emotion packed into a tight form, you’re left with a feeling of potential, like you’ve been offered a glimpse of something, but there are layers on layers that remain unwritten. Moustakis’s stories touch on this soft spot. The book brings you into the lives of a series of lin...more
I'm speechless and in awe. Just: go. Read these stories.
This collection was the perfect companion for the long bleak nights in front of the woodstove. I loved it for capturing the nuance of Alaska, which oftentimes is more an idea than a state. I will certainly be reading these stories again. And again.
I've read quite a few place-based collections and novels recently, and the more I think about how writers develop a strong sense of place,...more
Done! Right, this books is really hard to rate, because I like the second half much better than the first.
I guess my problem with the first half is mainly a personal reading taste issue :-)
Too much fishing stuff, I've never fished and it doesn't interest me, aaand I quickly tire of reading about violent, psycho, drunk parents abusing and neglecting their kids, of which there's quite a lot in this book.
BUT, theres a lot of really impressive and original writing (and great editing) here, some grea...more
All of the stories are good, but here are my top 5:
1) "The Mannequin in Soldotna" (seriously, this one is BASS-worthy and hard to top)
2) "Some Other Animal" (very original, fresh--hard to write animals (dogs) this interestingly)
3) "They Find t...more
excellent short stories.