Thursday, July 11, 2013

"How to Keep a Human: As told by Amaruq" by Kaimana Wolff

I love used bookstores. Right across the street from our Powell River condo is Kingfisher Used Books. I like to go there and browse the shelves. In addition to used books, they have a shelf for local authors. I found a book that caught my interest. I’ve heard of the author before around town in writing circles, but haven’t had the opportunity to meet her yet.

How to keep a human: as told by Amaruq is a unique book because it is told from the perspective of a wolf-malemute. It was written by Kaimana Wolff, the author name of Eva von Loon.

Amaruq's puppy name was Sojourner. Early in his life, his heart was won over by a "human ape female" who could speak his true name, Amaruq (wolf). The story is told by an older Amaruq (Grandpaw) to a new litter of his grandpuppies who are ready to be weaned and need to "know what to expect. You won't be puppies forever." He begins with a story about his own puppyhood. He was born a city dog but dreamed of his true homeland, the True Woods, North of Sixty (the 60th parallel that forms the border of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut). This is the land where wolves (and wolf huskies) are watched over by the Goddess Silva.

Each chapter is a vignette from Amaruq's life with his female human Pack Leader, Kaimana. Amaruq was a unique, all white wolf husky called a Father Brown, a mixture bred to help pull freight sleds in the far north. As Amaruq says, "Our strength and brains are perfect complements for human weaknesses, you see.  What would our humans do without us?"

Amaruq follows Kaimana, his human Pack Leader, to university for what he calls Post Sick-and-Airy (took me awhile to figure that one out).  Then finally to the True North for a job in Whitehorse, and finally to become the King of Dawson City. Throughout it all, he is Kaimana's constant companion, protector, and best friend rolled into one.

It's a fun read that will warm your heart, and give you a greater appreciation for life in the True North.

Additional reviews are available at Powell River Living and Immanence Magazine.

How to keep a human can be found in Powell River at Breakwater Books, Kingfisher Used Books, and online through, Smashwords for e-books, and for Kindle. -- Margy


  1. How lucky to have a book store just across the street - good for that quick pick-me up when you need it.

  2. Lucky you to have a book store across the street. Cute book.

  3. JoAnn - It is nice to walk over once in a while and check for new (old) stock.

    Stephanie - It was a good book. I loved all the descriptions up north.



We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy