Whispers from a Family's Forgotten Past
A wryly humorous and inspirational story about a proud Alaska Native family struggling to survive in two worlds. Sam and Louise Harper and their ten children make a soul-grinding transition into a modern white-dominated society where they face bigotry, poverty, and illness. Yet, Louise, the Athabascan matriarch, remains in touch with centuries-old traditions of healing, honoring nature’s spirits, and a belief that the spirits of all Athabascans one day will return to the waters of the Yukon River.
“…A rich and sprawling portrait of ordinary people struggling to adapt to extraordinary changes without losing their souls, their culture—or their sense of humor.”
----Stan Jones, author of Village of the Ghost Bears
"Harper-Haines has an incredible talent for making biography seem more like poetry — her lyrical phrasing and vivid imagery bring the reader right into the story."
----Libby Martin, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
"Intimate and charming"
---- Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Sitka, Alaska, of Koyukon Athabascan and French-Dutch descent, Jan Harper-Haines began gathering stories about her Athabascan mother and grandmother in 1990. The author earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska, where her mother, Flora Jane Harper, was the first Native graduate in 1935. She lives in the San Francisco area.