Outside Passage: A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood (Paperback)

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Outside Passage: A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood By Julia Scully Cover Image

Outside Passage: A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood (Paperback)

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A quiet, unpretentious, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir that portrays life for a young girl in pre-WWII Alaska, one of only 3 white girls in her high school class.  I read this almost 20 years ago and remember it so fondly and well.

— From Richard's 2015 and older picks

When Julia Scully was seven years old, her father committed suicide, and she and her sister were sent to an orphanage.  Two years later, emotionally damaged by the isolation and brutality of the orphanage, the girls followed their mother to the near-wilderness of the gold-mining territory north of Nome, Alaska, where she had leased a roadhouse in the tiny settlement of Taylor.  Julia had no idea what to expect when she arrived, but to her surprise, she found a healing power in the stark beauty of the vast tundra.  Later, she reveled in the boisterous, chaotic boomtown atmosphere that prevailed when thousands of American troops descended on Nome at the outbreak of World War II.  

Outside Passage is a lyrical and affecting memoir of those years, simultaneously an emotional account of a young girl’s first steps into adulthood and a unique portrait of a vanished frontier life.

Julia Scully was editor of Modern Photography for twenty years and is the author or editor of several books.

Product Details ISBN: 9781602231290
ISBN-10: 160223129X
Publisher: University of Alaska Press
Publication Date: February 15th, 2011
Pages: 226
Language: English
“A simple reminder of the immense power of a child’s love, which can last through terrible neglect.”
— Time

"This reviewer values the book most for its novel contribution in the detailed ethnography of one roadhouse. . . . Nome, described at length in the author’s gifted prose capturing sites, sounds, smell, weather, the surrounding landscape and the feel of life, gains equal attention with the roadhouse. . . . [A]n unvarnished true story."
— Keith A. Sculle