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Searching for Fannie Quigley: A Wilderness Life in the Shadow of Mount McKinley

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  25 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
2008 WILLA Literary Awards finalist

At the age of 27, Fannie Sedlacek left her Bohemian homestead in Nebraska to join the gold rush to the Klondike. From the Klondike to the Tanana, Fannie continued north, finally settling in Katishna near Mount McKinley. This woman, later known as Fannie Quigley, became a prospector who staked her own claims and a cook who ran a roadhouse
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Swallow Press (first published 2007)
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Heidi Busch
Aug 23, 2014 Heidi Busch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
While I enjoyed the parts of the book that were about Fannie Quigley, I thought the author spent too much time on how mining for gold was done in Alaska. I realized toward the end, as the author stated that not too much had been actually written about Fannie. In trying to stay true to the real story of her life the author chose to not spend too much time on legendary stories. In the long run this probably would have pleased Fannie Quigley who doesn't seem the type of person who wants to be remem ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Christine rated it liked it
I was fascinated by Fannie Quigley, a pioneerwoman who lived in the remote Alaskan backcountry in the early 1900s, when I visited Denali National Park earlier this year. This book provides as many details as are known about her life and story. The takeaway: Though she worked so hard (hunting and dressing her own food, cutting wood, etc.) she never really got to enjoy the fruits of her labor. It was almost like working was all she knew—and she didn't realize she could stop and enjoy her old age.
Trish Levora
Feb 26, 2013 Trish Levora rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most "REAL" books I've read, and I've read hundreds of wilderness biographies. There wasnt any romanticizing or glossing over in this rock hard woman's life, she was tough as nails! Her story is inspiring for those who have survived abuse and conquered or can conquer the mountains in their lives. Hers were real mountians, real guns, real work! She was one hellava woman!
I might have enjoyed this book more if I had taken the title more seriously. I expected a biography but the book was about searching for information and what Fannie's life might have been like. There were quotes and certain facts that were VERY overused. Fannie Quigley lived an amazing life and I enjoyed the small part of the book that was actually about her life.
Aug 01, 2007 Erica rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in alaska history, representations of "pioneer" & gold rush women
still early in my reading, but i'm impressed with haigh's dedication to historical detail, and the bibliography is exciting! excellent historical photos of the denali/kantishna area. more to come...
Catherine Riley
I read this book after returning from an Alaska trip. You need to have been there to enjoy this read. Fannie was a tough woman, when you can see where she lived in Alaska
Sally Kendrick
Jan 22, 2012 Sally Kendrick rated it liked it
Interesting book on the nature of those early settlers of Alaska and the inner strength they had. Fairly interesting although as I read I knew I would never be one of those adventurers.
Mar 10, 2011 Breean rated it it was ok
Could use more story. Was looking for inspirational pioneer woman story.
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