The Alaskan Laundry

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Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
Mariner Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 1.1 inches | 0.7 pounds
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About the Author
Brendan Jones lives on a tugboat in Alaska and works in commercial fishing. A Stegner Fellow, he received his B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, where he boxed for the Blues team. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Ploughshares, Popular Woodworking, The Huffington Post, and on NPR.

Winner of the 2017 Alaskana Award Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize "The relationships portrayed in this debut novel draw you in with their honesty, and Tara is a courageous, vibrant narrator...Jones' big-hearted, generous prose invite you into the sometimes thrilling, often grueling way of life in this last American wilderness." -- "A stunning literary debut."--Outside Magazine "This book's got everything. A lady boxer from South Philly travels to Alaska and buys a World War II-vintage fishing boat. Of course she does! And this is written by a guy who lives on a fishing boat up there."--The Philadelphia Inquirer, "14 books worth checking out this summer" "Remarkable...It's a story of well-crafted characters, entirely believable drama and redemption through excruciatingly hard labor...Jones perfectly evokes the culture of Southeast Alaska and those working in fisheries...Jones has captured what Alaska has long been for so many people: a last and best chance to remake their lives and become what they could never have been any place else. It may be fiction, but the story he tells is real."--Alaska Dispatch News "Tara Marconi has made her way to 'The Rock, ' a remote island in Alaska governed by the seasons and the demands of the world of commercial fishing. She hasn't felt at home in a long while?her mother's death left her unmoored and created a seemingly insurmountable rift between her and her father. But in majestic and mysterious Alaska, she begins to work her way up the fishing ladder?from hatchery assistant all the way to king crabber. Disciplined from years as a boxer in Philadelphia, here she truly learns what it means to work and to connect. And in buying and fixing up an old tugboat, she learns how to make a home that is her own." --Library Journal "Debut novelist Jones draws on his real-life experience living and working on an Alaskan tugboat to craft the tale of Tara Marconi, a Philadelphia woman who runs away from the depression and anger that have taken over her life. Desperate for a change, Tara leaves boxing, her family bakery, a deceased mother, a rage-filled father, and a boyfriend with hurt feelings for a foreign landscape where the men come with guns and questionable senses of humor. She arrives with anger "hot in her chest" and feels, "at the far end of the flame's heat, something new. Quieter, reassuring." She's committed to working for one year at a hatchery on Archangel Island, Alaska, also known as "The Rock" because that's what it is--a 15-by-50-mile stretch of rock that reeks of dead fish. After a late start on her first day and learning that her training as a boxer is no preparation for the hard work she's taken on, Tara starts to feel confident and comfortable in her new environment--so much so that a tugboat for sale catches her eye. Once the first year at The Rock passes successfully, it's clear that Tara is not ready to leave Alaska. By allowing herself to be vulnerable, she builds and rebuilds relationships, setting herself up to heal past wounds. The novel is a long collection of short chapters, which amplifies the step-by-step nature of Tara's hard-earned personal and professional accomplishments. The compelling tale of a woman's journey from hopeless anger to genuine empowerment, made richer by its immersion in the world of commercial fishing."--Kirkus Reviews "This is a truly towering debut novel. Brendan Jones charts new novelistic territory and sends back moving dispatches from the frontiers of the human heart." -- --