"Part Annie Dillard, part Anne Lamott."- L.A. Times
"Lende writes emotionally but never sentimentally, giving us the best Alaska memoir of late, maybe the best ever." -Booklist
“The genuineness of Heather Lende’s experience and her thoughtfulness about life’s bad breaks and unexpected gifts—expressed so well in her fine funny writing- make me want to ordain her as the goddess of good sense and song.” - Nancy Lord, Alaska Writer Laureate
Praise for Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs
Q&A with Heather Lende
Ten* Things to Think About if You Are Hit by a Truck
Thanks for stopping by--
First, welcome to my world here in Haines, Alaska (pop.2400), where I have written two books, If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name (Algonquin 2005) about real life in this small-town through my perspective as the obituary writer, and Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs (Algonquin 2010), about recovering from an accident thanks to community, family, and faith. I am writing a third non-fiction book for Algonquin, Finding the Good, which will be published spring 2014.
You may know me from my long running column in the Anchorage Daily News, I also contributed to NPR's Morning Edition and Woman's Day Magazine for a couple of years-- I've had essays and commentary in lots of places from Country Living Magazine and National Geographic Traveler, to the New York Times and Washington Post. I also blog for the Alaska Dispatch and still write the obituaries for our weekly Chilkat Valley News. Lately, I've begun doing radio essays again for KHNS and APRN as part of a local Small Things Considered feature, and I'm on the faculty at the North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway.
How did I get here? I grew up in New York, attended Friends Academy, moved to Alaska from the east coast in 1982 after graduating from Middlebury College and marrying my college sweetheart who always wanted to live in Alaska. My husband now owns a retail lumberyard, Lutak Lumber, here in Haines, where I'm pretty much known as Chip's wife, and Eliza, Sarah, Christian, Joanna (JJ), and Stojanka's (Stoli) mom, and Caroline, baby Lani, and baby Ivy's grandmother "Mimi," which is pretty great. I am an outdoorsy dog person, as well as a library and hospice volunteer, a regular at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Mission and I sing in the women's choir, all of which influence my writing.
This is kind of a long way of saying welcome to my web world, which includes more than you may want to know about my work, as well as my blog, where I chat about daily life in Haines and post a lot of pictures. I also have a facebook page. I do my best to answer your emails and letters, and please know that they all make my day. If I missed answering one, try me again, I sometimes lose emails between devices (I am a bit of a Luddite.) It amazes me how many people read what I write, and how many friends I have whom I've never met-- how great is that? Thank you very, very much.
Please feel free to share anything you find here, just be sure I get a little credit.
If you'd like a personalized copy of either of my books and can't make it to Haines, Tom and Liz Heywood at The Babbling Book store here are happy to mail you one. Just email them at email@example.com for the details.Please do shop for my books first at your local bookstore. Supporting independent stores and businesses in towns across the country is a very good thing. (The books are both available at most libraries, too.) Algonquin Books has a new ebook division, so if you must read on a plastic machine, please shop Algonquin first (they have a lot of great titles.)
Finally, I've posted Haines and Chilkat Valley area links so you can learn more about the places and people I love and write about --or to plan your visit here. If you do, look me up. I'm easy to find. I am also very happy to Skype with book clubs. Use the contact tab to reach me. Thanks again, very much, for stopping by, for reading my books and columns, and for sharing them with your friends. I hope you'll check in with the blog often, as well. It is a work in progress, mostly informal and local, but folks seem to enjoy reading it, and I enjoy writing it.