Life on Two Islands
Format: Paper and electronic
For many, the idea of living off the land is a romantic notion left to stories of olden days or wishful dreams at the office. But it becomes Sara Loewen's way of life each summer as her family settles into their remote cabin on Uyak Bay for the height of salmon season. With this connection to thousands of years of fishing and gathering at its core, Gaining Daylight explores what it means to balance lives on two islands, living both within an ancient way of life and the modern world. Her personal essays integrate natural and island history with her experiences of fishing and family life as well as the challenges of living at the northern edge of the Pacific.
Loewen’s writing is richly descriptive; readers can almost feel heat from wood stoves, smell smoking salmon, and spot the ways the ocean blues change with the season. With honesty and humor, Loewen easily draws readers into her world, sharing the rewards of subsistence lifestyle and the peace brought by miles of crisp solitude.
Sara Loewen teaches writing at Kodiak College during the winter and spends the summer in Uyak Bay with her husband and two sons, where they fish commercially for salmon.
2014 Won WILLA: WILLA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction
"With quiet grace, Lowen writes of her children, marriage, and home and her place
within it. More pragmatic than romantic, this is what life in Alaska is really about."
"Loewen's essays are exquisite slices of life . . . this solemn, spare book is an
intimate and loving look at a life that very few people live."
"[Gaining Daylight] is a wonderful debut that deftly spans Loewen’s own inner and Alaskan geographies
with a rare intimacy, elegance, and steadfastness. Like the tides on Uyak Bay, the
essays move with a certain rightness and loveliness, a definite rhythm—and so we are
moved by them."