Kings of the Yukon

Kings of the Yukon

One Summer Paddling Across the Far North

“Stirring and heartbreaking.” – David Owen, author of Where the Water Goes

One man’s thrilling and transporting journey by canoe across Alaska in search of the king salmon

The Yukon river is 2,000 miles long, the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the United States. In this riveting examination of one of the last wild places on earth, Adam Weymouth canoes along the river’s length, from Canada’s Yukon Territory, through Alaska, to the Bering Sea. The result is a book that shows how even the most remote wilderness is affected by the same forces reshaping the rest of the planet.

Every summer, hundreds of thousands of king salmon migrate the distance of the Yukon to their spawning grounds, where they breed and die, in what is the longest salmon run in the world. For the communities that live along the river, salmon was once the lifeblood of the economy and local culture. But climate change and a globalized economy have fundamentally altered the balance between man and nature; the health and numbers of king salmon are in question, as is the fate of the communities that depend on them.

Traveling along the Yukon as the salmon migrate, a four-month journey through untrammeled landscape, Adam Weymouth traces the fundamental interconnectedness of people and fish through searing and unforgettable portraits of the individuals he encounters. He offers a powerful, nuanced glimpse into indigenous cultures, and into our ever-complicated relationship with the natural world. Weaving in the rich history of salmon across time as well as the science behind their mysterious life cycle, Kings of the Yukon is extraordinary adventure and nature writing at its most urgent and poetic.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Nature / Animals / Fish

On Sale: May 15th 2018

Price: $25.98

ISBN-13: 9781478941040

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Praise

"A dose of adventure and environmental science . . . dynamic"—Southern Living, Best New Books to Read in May
"In this timely story 'of relationships, of the symbiosis of people and fish, of the imprint that one leaves on the other,' Weymouth keeps the pages turning to the very end."—Kirkus
"The writing is lyrical, whether describing a gull in the wind, the difference between nomadism and restlessness, the symbiosis of people and fish, or the slow amble of Prudhoe Bay's oil down the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Equal parts natural history, travelog, and cultural history, this work will appeal to readers of all three genres, especially fans of John McPhee."—Margaret Atwater-Singer, Library Journal
"A gripping story about one of the last great salmon runs on the planet."—North State Public Radio
"Adam Weymouth's account of his canoe trip down the Yukon River is both stirring and heartbreaking. He ably describes a world that seems alternately untouched by human beings and teetering at the brink of ruin."—David Owen, staff writer, The New Yorker, and author of Where the Water Goes
"An enthralling account of a literary and scientific quest. Adam Weymouth vividly conveys the raw grandeur and deep silences of the Yukon landscape, and endows his subject, the river's king salmon, with a melancholy nobility."—Luke Jennings, author of Blood Knots
"Adam Weymouth writes of the Yukon River, the salmon and the people, with language that flows and ripples like the water he describes. There may be a smoothness to the words, but pay attention, there are deep undercurrents here. You can hear the water dripping from his paddle between each stroke as he travels that river. It mingles with the voices of the many people he visits along its shores."—Harold Johnson author of several books including Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours)
"Shift over Pierre Berton and Farley Mowat. You, too, Robert Service. Set another place at the table for Adam Weymouth, who writes as powerfully and poetically about the Far North as any of the greats who went before him."—Roy MacGregor, author of Original Highways: Travelling the Great Rivers of Canada
"Beautiful, restrained, uncompromising. The narrative pulls you eagerly downstream roaring, chuckling and shimmering just like the mighty Yukon itself."—Ben Rawlence, author of City of Thorns
"A moving, masterful portrait of a river, the people who live on its banks, and the salmon that connect their lives to the land. It is at once travelogue, natural history, and a meditation on the sort of wildness of which we are intrinsically a part. Adam Weymouth deftly illuminates the symbiosis between humans and the natural world-a relationship so ancient, complex, and mysterious that it just might save us."—Kate Harris, author of Lands of Lost Borders
"I thoroughly enjoyed traveling the length of the Yukon River with Adam Weymouth, discovering the essential connection between the salmon and the people who rely upon them. What a joy it is to be immersed in such a remote and wondrous landscape, and what a pleasure to be in the hands of such a gifted narrator."—Nate Blakeslee, author of American Wolf
"This is the best kind of travel writing. Weymouth embarks on an ambitious journey-2,000 miles down the Yukon in a canoe-voyaging, listening, and learning. An outstanding book."—Rob Penn, author of The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees