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Birch Tree Road

Birch Tree Road

An Alaskan Fable

by Keldon Irwin
Publication Date: 28/12/2013
This real-life inspired, yet fictional, young adult and adult fable focuses on a young Inyupiaq (Northern Native Alaskan) who was born into a troubled home when the U.S. was just beginning its involvement with her rural arctic village. The text, interwoven with Emily Dickinson inspired poetry, is comprised of vivid descriptions of Alaskan tundra, intense and whimsical dialogue between varied dynamic characters, and action-filled, intelligent, and suspenseful narrative as Samantha ventures into endless Alaska. One day, Sam wakes up after one of her father's drunken evenings and leaves her arctic village in the middle of winter with nothing but the essentials to survive. Mid-walk, she encounters a polar bear and its cub. With her home blocked by these territorial gargantuas, she is tempted to take an adventure into the -20 - -40 degree weather. With her questionable choice, she ends up having to fend off off wildlife, the elements, and even polar bear.
A mere 80 miles from the Arctic Ocean in the Alaskan wilderness, Sam begins to redefine her perspective on the lifelong stories she has heard from elders, her relationship with her seized sister, supportive best friend, goofy uncle, drunk father, and troubled mother. She even begins to change her perspective on interracial relations.
Short stories
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United States
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