Western Reads, a campus-wide reading program at Western Washington University, has chosen “Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North,” by Nancy Lord, as its 2013-14 reading selection.
The book will be given to all incoming Western freshmen and will be available for sale at the Western Associated Students Bookstore. Programming related to the book topic will be held through the academic year.
Nancy Lord’s “Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North” weaves stories of her own experiences in communities of Alaska and Northwest Canada, where the effects of climate change are most immediate, with reports of warming salmon streams, village relocation plans and “polar bear tourism.” The narrative talks about regions where the people who face life-threatening change also demonstrate conservation ethics and adaptive capacities. In Shishmaref, Alaska, for example, new seawalls are going up while residents navigate the many practical and bureaucratic obstacles to moving their entire island village to higher ground.
Lord writes from home in Homer, Alaska. As a commercial salmon fisherman for 25 years and later as a naturalist and historian on adventure cruise ships, she takes a particular interest in coastal Alaska and the sustainability of its resources and communities. She has authored three short fiction collections and four books of literary nonfiction; and from 2008-10, she served as the Alaska Writer Laureate.
Currently, Lord teaches at the Kachemak Bay branch of Kenai Peninsula College and in the low-residency graduate writing program at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Her awards include fellowships form the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Rasmuson Foundation, a Pushcart Prize and residencies at a number of artist communities.
For more information, visit www.wwu.edu/westernreads.