The University of Wisconsin Press

Travel—Alaska / Memoir

Reading the River
A Voyage Down the Yukon
John Hildebrand
With a new Preface

"A traveler whose wilderness-whetted loneliness makes his encounters with strangers all the more piquant."
—Peter Wild, Sierra Club

"John Hildebrand sets out in a canoe... to explore the great riverway of northwestern Canada and Alaska. The geography is closely rendered and the characters especially sharply drawn. The country is filled with mad dropouts at river fish camps, good-hearted girls in the towns, sullen natives in tumbledown villages, cranky old-timers, terrible drunks and worse moralizers who live off the wild landscape and its abundant resources.... This is a fine work, and Hildebrand is a fine writer."—Charles E. Little, Wilderness

"For many of us the North has been the one place where a certain elemental experience—of land, water, and people —can still be had. John Hildebrand's personal account of this experience has a particular freshness and poignancy. It is the record of a journey, as much inward as it is outward, and all the better for that."—John Haines, author of The Stars, The Snow, The Fire

"A finely written account of coming to terms with one's self, of the realities of one's dreams. Recommended for anyone who would follow Thoreau into the woods, even now."—Library Journal

John Hildebrand is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. His most recent book is the acclaimed Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family.

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cover of Reading the River is a photo of a boat on a river, and beneath is a map of the Yukon River

February 1997
LC: 91-026346 F
262 pp.  5 1/2 x 8 1/2
3 maps  

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Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-15494-3
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"Hildebrand has every skill of mind and craft to enfold us in his experience."

The New Yorker


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