Under Nushagak Bluff
In 1939, everything changes for Anne Girl when outsider John Nelson grounds his sailboat on the shores, into Anne Girl's skiff, and into her life during a rare storm in the Alaskan fishing village of Nushagak. When Anne Girl and her mother Marulia find their skiff flattened by John's boat, Anne Girl decides she both hates and wants him. Thus begins a generational saga of strong, stubborn Yup'ik women living in a village that has been divided between the new and the old, the bluff side and the missionary side, the cannery side and the subsistence side.
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About the Author
Mia Heavener is of Norwegian, Polish, and Yup'ik heritage. Her experience in rural Alaska is both personal and professional. After graduating from MIT with a degree in civil engineering, Mia returned home to design water and wastewater systems in Alaskan Native villages. During the summers, she commercial fishes with her family in Bristol Bay. She believes that everyone should have a good whiff of the tundra at least once in their life, if not twice. She has an MFA from Colorado State University. Her fiction has appeared in Cortland Review and Willow Springs.
Under Nushagak Bluff is slight and compelling, portraying its settings well and capturing original voices. Its story of generational inheritances and expectations, fate, and loyalty is filtered through the tough voices of Alaskan women.
--Foreword ReviewsInfused with magical realism and beautifully written, Heavener's evocative debut paints a moody, vivid picture of a Native culture undergoing change.
It's an intriguing and important window into life among an Indigenous people and beautifully illustrates the push and pull of assimilation in pre-state Alaska.