Raven's Witness: The Alaska Life of Richard K. Nelson

Hank Lentfer (Author) Barry Lopez (Foreword by)


2020 Banff Mountain Book Competition Finalist in Mountain Literature
  • Richard K. Nelson was the host of the national public radio series, Encounters
  • Nelson was an anthropologist who lived with Alaska Native tribes and spoke both Inupiag and Koyukon
  • Based on Nelson's journals and interviews with Gary Snyder, Barry Lopez, Rick Bass, and others
He listened to his Native Alaskan] teachers, immersed himself in their landscapes as a naturalist, and became, without intending to, a great teacher himself. --Barry Lopez, from the foreword

Before his death in 2019, cultural anthropologist, author, and radio producer Richard K. Nelson's work focused primarily on the indigenous cultures of Alaska and, more generally, on the relationships between people and nature. Nelson lived for extended periods in Athabaskan and Alaskan Eskimo villages, experiences which inspired his earliest written works, including Hunters of the Northern Ice In Raven's Witness, Lentfer tells Nelson's story--from his midwestern childhood to his first experiences with Native culture in Alaska through his own lifelong passion for the land where he so belonged. Nelson was the author of the bestselling The Island Within and Heart and Blood. The recipient of multiple honorary degrees and numerous literary awards, he regularly packed auditoriums when he spoke. His depth of experience allowed him to become an intermediary between worlds. This is his story.

Find out more at www.ravenswitness.com, and learn how you can help bring this story to life here.

Product Details

$24.95  $22.95
Mountaineers Books
Publish Date
July 07, 2020
5.7 X 8.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

As a life-long Alaskan, Hank Lentfer is familiar with much of the country Richard Nelson wrote about. Their friendship centered on a mutual love of wild country, writing, and listening to wild voices. A biologist by training, Lentfer currently works as a recordist and part-time land steward for The Nature Conservancy. He is the author of Faith of Cranes: Finding Hope and Family in Alaska (Mountaineers Books, 2011), and lives in Gustavus, Alaska. Learn more about Hank's latest book Raven's Witness at ravenswitness.com

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Barry Lopez's books include" Light Action in the Caribbean" (stories), "About This Life" (essays and memoir), the novella-length fable "Crow and Weasel", and "Arctic Dreams" (nonfiction), for which he received the National Book Award. He has traveled extensively in remote regions of the world, and his work has been widely translated and anthologized. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science foundations; the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the John Burroughs and John Hay medals; and other honors. He lives in rural western Oregon.