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‘Of Bears and Ballots’ author Heather Lende named Alaska State Writer Laureate

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 9:00 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Author Heather Lende of Haines was named the Alaska State Writer Laureate earlier this month. Now, as she takes over the duties of that role, her most recent book, “Of Bears and Ballots,” is set to hit stores in paperback.

“It’s a huge honor to me, in some ways it makes me feel old, like I must have lived a while and written a lot to get there, but I am also very grateful for the nomination,” Lende said, who is set to serve a two-year term as the state’s writer laureate. “My understanding is I get to spend the next two years traveling around the state either in person or via zoom, talking about writing, and writers, and literacy, and education and all the things that I value and Alaskan’s do too.”

Along with countless columns, essays and articles, Lende has also penned four books. Her latest release chronicles her somewhat fraught foray into the local government in Haines. Lende faced and overcame a recall effort early on as she got an up-close view of how the political process does and does not work.

Lende is known for her particular brand of witty writing. She tends to dive into the political divide, not only between parties and ideologies but also into the difference between the national and local discourse.

“There are still citizens that are, every single day, making decisions that are really big on a local level that affect people’s lives and that’s really worth holding onto,” Lende said.

The prominent author described her latest work as “a book about heartbreak, humor.”

“Of Bears and Ballots” is already available in hardcover, on Kindle and in audio form. It will be released in paperback on May 25.

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