We are all of us reflections of the experiences we've had, the places we've lived, the people we've loved.
I've lived for over 30 years on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, a place of many challenges and many rewards. I haven't always lived here, but I've always lived in northern places. I grew up in Minnesota, where I spent summers with my mother at our family cabin on an island in the boundary waters of the Canadian border. My mother was an artist and I was a dreamer...and a reader. I read constantly and dreamed of becoming a writer.
As I grew older, I ventured even further north, to Noway, the land of my ancestors where I immersed myself in the Norwegian culture and learned the language. I attended Nansenskolen in Lillehammer--long before Lillehammer became the site of the winter Olympics.
The school was named after Fridjof Nansen, arctic explorer. Little did I know that I would follow Nansen's footsteps, north to the arctic--not as an explorer, but as a wanderer.
My wanderings took me to northern Alaska, home of the Inupiat, the "real people." There I found a mentor who taught me to see the world through his eyes. It was a good world.
I married this man whose grandfather, as it turned out, was Norwegian. Together we've raised seven children who are now living all over the country and across the globe from Washington DC to Austrailia.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. Along the way I've worked as a nurse's aide, a waitress, a pipeline worker, a radio reporter, a PR writer, a college director and a school board president. And now, at last, I really am a writer. Isn't it interesting how life works?
As many writers do, I write what I know, and through knowing it in my own way, make it my own, something both very old and very new at the same time, straddling the distinct and sometimes divergent traditions that make me who I am.
DEBBY DAHL EDWARDSON’S first book, Whale Snow, was named an NCSS/CBC Notable, a Banks Street Best, Independent Publishers, Best Picture Book of the Year and an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society. She earned an MFA at Vermont College in 2005.
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