An Aleutian Memoir / 2nd Edition
Along a thousand-mile chain of treeless and windswept islands, Unalaska is perched at the end of the world, or, as some prefer to say, the beginning. In 1964, Ray Hudson, 22, landed in Unalaska village with a brand-new college degree, eager to teach. The Aleuts had seen many outsiders who had come but seldom stayed more than a year.
Yet Hudson was no short-timer. Captivated by Unalaska and the history and traditions of its enduring people, he stayed. As the years passed—one, then five, ten, then twenty—he was embraced by his Aleut neighbors, sharing their celebrations and tragedies, teaching
their children, exploring their language, and, much to their surprise, learning their delicate art of grass basketry. Ray Hudson’s intimate memoir weaves together landscape and language, storytelling and silence, ancient mythology and day-to-day village life. Ultimately he pays homage to the people he came to teach, and who, in the end, were his teachers.
"One of Alaska's 67 best books"
--Alaska Historical Society
"MOMENTS RIGHTLY PLACED is woven like an Aleut basket, warp by warp, each character lovingly described, each story gently told...the culture brought out in subtle detail."
--Velma Wallis, author of TWO OLD WOMEN
"This remarkable, fresh book is an understated manual for how to learn a place...and how to undertake a practice that will transform you...What we need to know about the fit between place and culture, about 'real human beaings,' is all here."
--Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS WITHOUT END
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ray Hudson lived in the Aleutian Islands from 1964 to 1992, and there his heart remains, though he now lives in Middlebury, Vermont,with his wife Shelly. The award-wining teacher continues to research and write on topics related to the islands.