This Memoir About Small Town Alaskan Politics is a Perfect Cabin Read

by | Aug 2020

A woman reads a copy of Of Bears and Ballots at a cabin.


Heather Lende’s story of local politics is an engaging chronicle.

Heather Lende’s latest memoir, Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics, is her fourth book about life in Haines, Alaska.

Lende is a longtime resident of the town, where she lives with her husband, Chip, children and grandchildren nearby. Her day job is to write obituaries for the local newspaper. In 2016, Lende decided to run for the Haines Borough Assembly. It was a watershed year in America politics and she won. Her three years in the Assembly are chronicled here. To serve on a school board, town advisory group, city council or a religious group’s governing board, is not for the fair-of-heart. Lende learns this in spades. Her writing engages in the way the television show Northern Exposure, about Cicely, Alaska, once did. Many episodes of that wonderful series were written by Edina native, Jeffrey Vlaming. A perfect cabin read that published June 30th.

Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning author.


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