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A Man of His Village


Florentino Cruz accepts a promising job in Alaska, the magnificent climax to his years of toil in the United States. But the expedition collapses in mutiny and murder, leaving Florentino lost and fleeing for his life through a fire-ravaged wilderness.

Winner of the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction & the ForeWord Magazine Gold Award in Literary Fiction



“The most original and gripping work of fiction set in Alaska that I have ever read.” ~ Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News

“A skilled balance of surprise and plausibility … [an] exceptional tale.” ~Hoffer Book Award Citation

“A descent into savagery that makes ‘Lord of the Flies’ look like a kindergarten skirmish … an adventure far more inevitable and gruesome than anything Stephen King ever wrote.” ~ Sandra Boatright, Fairbanks Daily News Miner



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Author Tanyo Ravicz skiing

Author Tanyo Ravicz skiing

Born in Mexico City, brought up in L.A., Tanyo graduated from Harvard University in 1984 and eventually wound up in Alaska, homesteading on Kodiak Island.

Alaska is a huge and humbling place of simple but boundless fascination, of mystery and unfinished creation, and although Tanyo Ravicz didn’t set foot here until he was twenty-five, the place has held an off-the-road, over-the-horizon attraction for him since grade school.

In his writing, the settings are often Alaskan, not only in the natural surroundings, but, crucially, in the story lines which the settings make possible. Alaska has fundamentally conditioned Ravicz’s style of realism.

Don’t tell…but Tanyo is addicted to Alaska.

Author Tanyo Ravicz skiing

Although he didn’t set foot in Alaska until he was twenty-five, the place has held an off-the-road, over-the-horizon attraction for him since grade school.

The Confessional

We asked & our authors answered…

Tanyo has been known to…tell a lie if the truth is meaner

Things Tanyo likes…tandoori red, scents of rose and orange blossom, anise, pistachio, sound of skis in snow, breaking waves and murmuring voices, bare feet in the moss, blue notes and firm ripenesses, a berry bursting on the tongue, birdsong

He’ll never get caught…having nothing to write about but the angst of being a writer having nothing to write about in a world that doesn’t give a rat’s whisker whether you write about having nothing to write about or not.

A favorite/line expression and where it’s from:  “If you can take it you can make it.” Unbroken

Alaskans You Most Admire: Sydney Laurence, Norman Vaughan, Howard Rock

Favorite Alaska places: Chena River, Kupreanof Peninsula, Alyeska


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Author Tanyo Ravicz

This book, says Ravicz, is more than an adventure novel or a study of an obsessed character. It’s the human personality under every kind of duress, physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Poverty, immigration, and the harshness of the labor market are constant realities. But Florentino is not only brutalized by events–he is victimized by his own illusions. Ultimately what he seeks–a priceless wild mushroom growing in the heart of a desolation, a gold for the gilded 1990s–isn’t attainable. What he may recover, if he survives, is self-acceptance and a more forgiving vision of the world.

A MAN OF HIS VILLAGE occupies the epic terrain of the West, from the borderlands of California to the strawberry fields of Oregon, from urban Seattle to rural Mexico, from the crowded slums of Tijuana to the isolation of the Alaskan bush. This is a novel of pride and redemption, the voyage of a passionate soul out of innocence across a continental landscape of exploitation and betrayal.

Sneaky Peek

Alaska! His nostrils swelled in the salt air. One more job, then home for certain. Twenty dollars an hour! Think what that means. The sun never sets, she says. I’ll pick forever. It’s an opportunity. It’s what I came north for. You’re not perfect, Florentino, not by any means, but this will make up for things. And you deserve it, you’ve worked hard, it’s your due. Thanks to God, hm?

Mushrooms! Calculations of profit went ticking through his head that night, and his elation didn’t so much keep him awake as it made sleep unnecessary.

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