United Way cruise to feature Alaskan writer Don Rearden

Editor's note: This brief has been updated. Don Rearden will not be a featured speaker at the North Words Writers Symposium, as was previously reported. 


United Way of Southeast Alaska, with support from Allen Marine, will host “Cruise for a Cause” Wednesday, May 14. The featured guest speaker will be Alaskan author Don Rearden.

The cruise, which includes dinner at Orca Point Lodge, will depart from Don Statter Public Harbor in Auke Bay at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $100.

Rearden, of Bear Valley, is the author of the highly acclaimed novel, “The Raven’s Gift,” and is an associate professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is also president of the board of directors of 49 Writers, a statewide organization that provides a wide array of resources for Alaskan writers.

“The Raven’s Gift,” Rearden’s debut novel, reflects his experiences with Yup’ik culture and childhood in rural Alaska, as well as the influence of the Alaskan wilderness. The book tells the story of a white teacher and his wife who are living in a small Native village when a devastating epidemic strikes, killing off most of the people. Told through three time periods, the book is both a post-apocalyptic thriller and an allegory. It has garnered high praise from critics across the country, and landed on the Washington Post’s Notable Fiction List of 2013, with the reviewer describing it as “a novel with the hunter-hunted suspense of Geoffrey Household’s ‘Rogue Male,’ the post-apocalyptic bleakness of Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ and the haunting mysteriousness of ‘The X-Files.’” It was also named 2012 Alaska Novel of the Year.

Rearden will also be leading a 49 Writers Workshop from 6-9 p.m. on May 15 at the JACC, called “Writing in 360.” In the workshop he will show participants how to take their writing, both fiction and nonfiction, to the next level by helping them understand and see the world their characters live in. The workshop is open to writers 18 and up and the cost is $45 for 49 Writers members and $50 for nonmembers. (Memberships are good for a year and start at $49; find out more here: www.49writingcenter.org.)

The United Way cruise will include dinner of grilled wild Alaska salmon and/or chicken, rice pilaf, coleslaw, fresh-hot rolls, and dessert. Beer and wine will be available for an additional charge.

Guests who require wheelchair assistance to participate must provide advance notice to United Way of Southeast Alaska. For more information about accessibility, contact Allen Marine’s service manager at (888) 289-0081.

For more information, visit https://www.unitedwayseak.org and www.49writingcenter.org.


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