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First Wilderness: My Quest in the Territory of Alaska
First Wilderness


 
Fans of the Alaskan classic One Man’s Wilderness will be fascinated by this memoir of how its author, Sam Kieth, and its subject, Dick Proenneke, first met.
After serving as a Marine during World War II and attending Cornell on the GI Bill, Sam Kieth set out for Alaska in 1952. At the Adak Naval base on Kodiak, he befriended a group of like-minded men, including Proenneke, who shared a love of the outdoors, hard work and self-reliance. Through letters to his father back home Keith chronicled their remarkable hunting and fishing adventures in pre-statehood Alaska.
In 1955, Keith went back to the Lower 48. He returned to Alaska in 1970 to visit Proenneke at his cabin at Twin Lakes. Keith wrote One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey (1973) based on his lifelong friend’s journals and photography. Rereleased in 1999, it became a best seller and won the National Outdoor Book Award. Book excerpts and some of Proenneke’s 16mm movies were used in the popular documentary Alone in the Wilderness, which continues to air on PBS. Both men passed away in 2003.
Ten years later, Keith’s son-in-law, children’s book author/illustrator Brian Lies, discovered an unpublished manuscript by Keith in an archive box in the family’s garage. Here for the first time, forty years after it was written, is the story of Keith’s own Alasaka experiences, at turns harrowing and funny. Included are photos and experts from his journals, letters, and notebooks, woven in to create this compelling and poignant memoir of search and discovery.
Journey with Sam Kieth to experience an enthralling adventure in the wild beauty of North America’s last frontier.

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By Sam Keith, author of One Man's Wilderness

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