VIRTUAL: Heather Lende in conversation with Sedge Thomson / Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics

Monday, July 13, 2020 - 6:00pm

front cover of Of Bears and Ballots by Heather LendeBooksmith and The Bindery host a virtual event with Heather Lende for her new book Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics. She'll be in conversation with Sedge Thomson

This will be a virtual event, which we will be streaming live on our Facebook page.

Friends, neighbors: We are pleased to be able to bring you some of our events virtually while our doors are otherwise closed in the interest of public health. If you'd like to support the store, you can still do that in the usual ways:

Buy the book and we’ll deliver it directly to your door.
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The writer whom the Los Angeles Times calls “part Annie Dillard, part Anne Lamott” now brings us her quirky and compassionate account of holding local office.
Heather Lende was one of the thousands of women inspired to take a more active role in politics during the past few years. Though her entire campaign for assembly member in Haines, Alaska, cost less than $1,000, she won! But tiny, breathtakingly beautiful Haines—a place accessible from the nearest city, Juneau, only by boat or plane—isn’t the sleepy town that it appears to be: from a bitter debate about the expansion of the fishing boat harbor to the matter of how to stop bears from rifling through garbage on Main Street to the recall campaign that targeted three assembly members, including Lende, we witness the nitty-gritty of passing legislation, the lofty ideals of our republic, and how the polarizing national politics of our era play out in one small town.

With an entertaining cast of offbeat but relatable characters, Of Bears and Ballots is an inspirational tale about what living in a community really means, and what we owe one another. 

photo of Heather Lende by Mel G PhotographyHeather Lende has contributed essays and commentary to NPR, the New York Times, and National Geographic Traveler, among other newspapers and magazines, and is a former contributing editor at Woman’s Day. A columnist for the Alaska Dispatch News, she is the obituary writer for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines and the recipient of the Suzan Nightingale McKay Best Columnist Award from the Alaska Press Club. Her previous bestselling books are Find the GoodTake Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, and If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name. Lende was voted Citizen of the Year, Haines Chamber of Commerce, in 2004. Her website is

photo of Sedge Thomson in HainesSedge Thomson took his San Francisco-based West Coast Live radio show on the road to Alaska in the summer of 1999, and produced his national radio show from Haines and other towns. He met the Lendes and found Heather a natural to talk of her adopted home. Two subsequent summer tours of Alaska and the Yukon always included Haines and Skagway, and radio visits with Heather. Sedge’s interviewing also includes his some 2000 live radio shows, guest hosting Fresh Air, and more 50 on-stage interviews now held in a special collection in the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, as well as producer, co-writer and actor in the motion picture, Kepler’s Dream and many other radio, film, tv and podcast programs, from Antarctica to Alaska to London and Paris, from aboard ships, trains, and planes. This conversation with Heather for Booksmith is his first zooma zooma interview. 

This event is free and all ages.

To have Of Bears and Ballots sent to your door, order here or below.

RSVP appreciated by not required

Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics By Heather Lende Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781616208516
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Algonquin Books - June 30th, 2020