Two in the Far North

Murie, Margaret E. Two in the Far North. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962.

Murie starts her first book, Two in the Far North with a look back at her first visit to Alaska when she was nine years old in the year 1911. The writing is full of exuberance and excitement. Her enthusiasm oozes from the pages and offers a unique perspective on the birth of an Alaskan frontier town from a child’s point of view. As she grows into an adult and returns from college the emphasis shifts to marriage (1924) and following her biologist husband as he does field research in the untamed parts of her beloved Alaska. On each expedition you can tell she never loses that joy from exploring everything that makes Alaska unique. (I can’t even tell you how many times she uses the word ‘happy’ to describe everyone and everything around her.) Murie’s chronicle of life in the Alaskan wilderness is honest and passionate from start to finish.

Favorite lines, “There was one wonderful spring when people had to move out of  their houses on Front Street, and rowboats were the thing, but this was fun only for the children” (p 54), “A rocking chair and a bed with springs are to be enjoyed whenever met” (p 210), and “If man does not destroy himself through his idolatry of the machine, he may learn one day tp step gently on his earth” (p 357).

Favorite Murie illustrations: p 167, p 195, and p201.

Author Fact: Margaret Murie had so many interesting facts about her I couldn’t chose just one. For starters, she lived to be 101! She studied at Simmons College in Boston for a short time (one year). There is a movie about her life called “Arctic Dance.”

Book Trivia: Two in the Far North is Murie’s first book and it is illustrated by her husband, Olaus.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Alaska” (p 17). Duh.

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