Steller's Orchid

Product Details
$15.95  $14.83
Boreal Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.72 pounds

Earn by promoting books

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

Become an affiliate
About the Author

Tom McGuire came to Alaska with two college friends. Fifty years later, he still hasn't found reason to leave. He has worked as a salmon fisherman, carpenter, and North Slope oilfield worker. He and his wife have raised four children in a house they built on the banks of the Chilkoot River. Grizzly bears are frequent visitors. Tom has also paddled thousands of miles down (and up) northern rivers. He has published a book, 99 Days on the Yukon, that describes a summer-long trip with legendary canoeist Charlie Wolf.


It's 1924, and Yale botany student John Lars Nelson embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to Alaska's remote Shumagin Islands in search of a brilliant red orchid that may or may not exist. Little does he realize that finding a flower in the arctic would be a matter of life and death.
In Nelson, Tom McGuire has created a smart, capable, and endearing narrator for this old-fashioned adventure, mystery, and coming of age novel.
Steller's Orchid is authentically Alaskan and refreshingly original. It belongs on the shelf with Eowyn Ivey's To the Bright Edge of the World and Lynn Schooler's Walking Home.
I just finished Steller's Orchid, and I enjoyed it so much that I'd like to read it again.
--Heather Lende

Chilkat Valley News

I learned more about life in the Aleutians 100 years ago from Tom McGuire's page turner Steller's Orchid than I did from a decade living in Alaska. In the course of drawing us in to the quest of John Lars, a young orchid seeker, McGuire subtly reveals how we arrived at the Alaska of today.. This adventurous, unforgettably original and so human saga has more than a few moments of erudite ad poetic narrative. Steller's Orchid teaches us how and why commoditized plants have been transported around the world to comprise the modern agricultural landscape. McGuire's narrative culminates in an exciting climax set in one of the most remote spots on the planet, a fitting end to a book that is as much about the nature of life and love as orchid hunting and ambition.
--Doug Fine, author Farewell, My Subaru and Too High to Fail

Steller's Orchid most definitely deserves a spot among the best of contemporary Alaska fiction. It's a perfect example of literature that can entertain while also teaching about place, history and the human heart.

--Nancy Lord of Anchorage Daily News