I’m so excited to be featured in the current issue of Alluvian! They’re a great journal out of Ithaca and have an eye on our climate and our planet, as we all should. They also feature some beautiful graphics and photography, so definitely explore the current issue and all of the wonderful content that they’ve included.
“Due North” is a story that I wrote years ago but re-envisioned this spring. It is in part inspired by the central creature of the narrative, the polar bear, and the peril that we as a species have imposed on it and so many other endangered animals. The apology that my protagonist feels in her heart is inadequate is one that I think many of us experience as we are faced with the frightening realities of climate change. (Side note: there’s a typo in the published version, and the sentence that articulates this feeling of apology should read: She thought maybe she should bring a gift or something, though she wasn’t sure what kind of gift said: “Sorry for being part of the species that’s melting the glaciers you live on. Sorry for adding to the heat that is starving your relatives and friends to death.”)
However, I also owe a great debt to a beautiful children’s book I was obsessed with as a child called Sarah’s Lion, written by Margaret Greaves and illustrated by Honey de Lacey. The image of a small girl and a powerful lion walking together has never left me, and I think there was some tribute I tried to pay to Greaves’s work in conceiving of this story. If you haven’t ever heard of Sarah’s Lion, by all means get a copy to read. It’s magical and bittersweet and many things that a children’s book should be.
I hope you enjoy this story! Thanks as always for reading, and I wish you a week of magical encounters, whether with bears or lions or other creatures not mentioned in this post,