Journal of an Aleutian Year

Ethel Ross Oliver, Author University of Washington Press $14.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-295-96618-2
In 1942, in the wake of a Japanese invasion, residents of the Aleutian i've steted what i had/l.c. ok?pk islands were removed by the U.S. Navy to camps in southeast Alaska. Three years later, the inhabitants of one island, Atka, returned to the site of their village, which the Navy had razed during the evacuation. At the request of the Alaska Native Service, Oliver and her husband, Simeon, spent 1946-47 on Atka, helping to rebuild. Simeon, a native of the western Aleutian island of Unalaska, served as the liaison between the villagers and the U.S. government, while Ethel looked after the people's welfare and taught the children English. With the cool eye of a scientific observer, yet not without compassion, the author tells how several traumatized families, who had been prisoners of the Japanese before resettling on Atka, struggled to restore their self-esteem. In vivid detail, Oliver describes how she nursed sick villagers back to health, witnessed births and weddings, helped resolve disputes at community meetings and made friends. This writer blends keen memories and ethnological analysis into an intriguing exploration of an obscure chapter of Alaskan and American history. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Hardcover - 286 pages - 978-0-295-96567-3
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