Mostly Water

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$16.95  $15.76
Boreal Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.3 X 0.8 inches | 0.62 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author

Mary Odden's essays have appeared in the Georgia Review, Northwest Review, Nimrod, the Alaska Quarterly Review, and Under Northern Lights, an anthology of contemporary Alaska art and writing. Born in eastern Oregon, she traveled north to do forest fire work in Alaska. She studied writing at the University of Montana and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has worked as an aviation dispatcher, village teen counselor, writing teacher, and as publisher/editor of a small newspaper in Alaska's Copper River Valley. In 2015, she received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award for the essays gathered in Mostly Water. She lives with her husband in Nelchina, Alaska.


"Mary Odden's essays are a wonder. I don't know what I enjoy most about them, whether it is the clear-eyed re-creation of people and places, the rich music of her language, or--and maybe this is where I take the deepest pleasure as I read--those astounding paragraphs where Mary turns to her readers and offers all the gathered insights and ideas her essays have to share. At such moments, I am dazzled by a person of genius who can lead me out into fresh and surprising turns of thought."
--Frank Soos, author of Unpleasantries: Considerations of Difficult Questions

"Mary Odden's writing is wise, witty, and frank. This western woman's memoir in essays brims with love for family and the rural places Odden calls home. She's a natural storyteller, and her voice, especially in "Going to the Hills," about horsey childhood years in eastern Oregon, and "March," a meditation about what it means to be at home in Alaska (and so much more), makes her literary kin to the North's spiritual grand dame, Margaret Murie."
--Heather Lende, author of Find the Good

"Mary Odden's authentic, profound, and original Mostly Water will thaw parts of you you didn't even know had frozen. Love, work, animals, food, music: were we to disappear, humanity could be remade of the ingredients here set forth by this remarkable writer. Suffused with wonder, steeped in memory, and written in exquisitely musical prose, the essays in this book serve to harmonize head with heart in a way that can only be called wisdom."
--Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Love & Fury

Blog post on Mary's Midden