Life in Alaska: The Reminiscences of a Kansas Woman, 1916-1919

May W. Lamb, Author, Dorothy Wynne Zimmerman, Editor, Dorothy Wynne Zimmerman, Photographer University of Nebraska Press $25 (171p) ISBN 978-0-8032-2879-5
This is an intriguing tale of three years in the life of the author (d. 1975), who as a dauntless young woman from Kansas traveled in 1916 to Akiak, Alaska, a remote Eskimo village, to teach in a U.S. government school. On the trip, she suffered seasickness; the freighter carting her possessions was shipwrecked; and after resupplying herself with essentials, her remaining $10 was lost in the mud and water of the tundra. But Lamb survived with bubbling good humor and philosophical optimism intact. Her concise, illuminating descriptions of the village, the people and the customs of the time are heartwarming and her anecdotes brim with wit and sensitivity. Lamb's husband, Frank, a physician, whom she meets in Alaska, dies of ``influenza or pneumonia'' while ministering to the sick, leaving her with a four-month-old son. ``It takes strength of character to go forward and not look backward without heartaches,'' she said of the Eskimos. Lamb learned from them and carried on. Photos not seen by PW. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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