Alaskans: Stories


Ten celebrated stories of contemporary Alaska, a full-color, no-holds-barred portrayal of life in the Great Land through unforgettable portraits of Alaskans in all walks of life. A firefighter confronts his mixed identity as a wildfire rages; a teenager discovers one of the perils of cannery work; friends hunt for happiness at the top of the world; rivals meet over the grave of the man they loved.


Spirited, wide-ranging, by turns tender and blunt, written in a lean and vigorous prose, the selection includes Tanyo Ravicz’s classic novella A Fox in May, in which Jed Hanson, a boy on the cusp of manhood, becomes immersed in the terrors and beauties of the natural world.



“Part of a true literature of Alaska. Embraces the vast land to include firefighters, fishermen, quirky old-timers, startlingly real Natives, and eager cheechakos, male and female, who bring to this demanding, dream-filled world a memorable energy and a hunger for authenticity. Ravicz’s writing whispers, sings, and howls–about colliding passions, unforgiving realities, hard-won success, enduring love, and never-predictable joy. These stories tell lasting truths about our lives.” ~Jean Anderson, author of In Extremis and Other Alaskan Stories



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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 he most admires: Sydney Laurence, Norman Vaughan, Howard Rock

Favorite Alaska places: Chena River, Kupreanof Peninsula, Alyeska


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Author Tanyo Ravicz

Born in Mexico City and brought up in L.A., Ravicz graduated from Harvard University in 1984. After living on the East Coast and in Europe, he moved to Alaska, homesteading on Kodiak Island, where he returns every summer. Alaska fired his passion for the natural world and became a focus of his writing.

Sneaky Peek

It’s like living in two worlds, man. I got this uncle who’s a total bush rat, lives out on the river past Eagle, trapping and cutting wood and—real traditional life, you know? Soon as I come back from dive school in San Diego, I go out in the bush and live with him and fish with him and it’s weird cause they got all those malls in San Diego and tons of people and cars and you come back and it’s so different, quiet and peaceful with trees all around.

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