Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon: Mapping The Wild Heart of Alaska is a memoir by Mary Albanese. In this book, she recounts what led her to leave upstate New York and move to Alaska. Though she had never been to Alaska, she felt that it was the place for her.
Upon graduating college with a teaching degree, Albanese heard there was a teacher shortage in Alaska and applied to every school in the state. With no replies, she decided to move anyway and find a job once she arrived. Instead of finding a teaching job, she enrolls into the graduate geology program at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
From the press announcement: Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon chronicles Albanese’s journey to Alaska and the unexpected path that led her to become an arctic geologic explorer, from mapping remote wilderness areas, to surviving the harsh life Alaska had to offer, to probing the depths of her own heart. Framed against the backdrop of Alaska’s raw beauty, Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon is the story of life lived to extremes—bold, outrageous, and dangerous. A mesmerizing tale about a world of exquisite beauty and punishing extremes, an eccentric cast of characters resplendent with human failings, and persistence in the face of hardship, Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon reveals the high price paid for life at the top of the world.
Albanese writes well, so well that the book reads like a fictional account of an adventure-seeking explorer. The memoir is not only her story but also the story of mapping Alaska’s wild and dangerous geography.
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Photo courtesy of Denali Park Resorts