The essay is full of sharp observations of the NW environment by a native Iowan, and the book takes you on trips of discovery to other places too: the Pine Ridge Reservation, the backwoods of Ontario, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Midwest backroads.
The second one, called “How One Man Made Seattle by Selling It to the World,” examines the role of a man named Erastus Brainerd in marketing Seattle as the Gateway to the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. His before-their-time efforts led to 70,000 of the approximately 100,000 men who traveled to Yukon passing through Seattle, changing the city overnight.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out my new website, WritingtheNorthwest.com, you might find the latest post interesting. It attempts to answer the question of where and what exactly is the “Pacific Northwest.”
The post offers a number of interesting links, including one to the area covered by the culture of the Coast Indian tribes and one to details about the 9.2 earthquake centered in SW Alaska in 1964 that set Seattle’s Space Needle swaying.
I just launched a new website: WritingtheNorthwest.com. The first post is about a conference held 75 years ago at which writers first discussed what the Pacific NW is and how it should be written about. I’m hoping the new site becomes a forum for discussing literary, historical and contemporary writing about the NW. Check it out!