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Arts & Entertainment
Review: 'Eagle Blue' truthful about Native village life

""Natives throughout the Arctic were torn between who they had once been and who they were becoming, between where they could once turn to feel pride and connection and where they now felt little but lostness and shame. They were fragmenting -- as families, communities, even as individuals. Amid such upheaval, this simple game, basketball, gave them something to turn to to pull together, and they threw themselves into it with a passion close to religious."

The statistics will tell you Bush Alaska is wracked with poverty, violence and despair. But visit a village, any village, and you'll learn there's also great hope.

"Eagle Blue," a new book by Michael D'Orso, finds it. It's in the school gym, the place in every village that glows warmest in the winter darkness, like a lighthouse on a storm-battered coast.

It's where young and old set aside generational chasms ripped open by cultural upheaval, where the community fills the bleachers to the rafters to cheer on the future of the village.

The book is about basketball first, about the struggles and dreams of a ragtag, high school team in Fort Yukon, an Athabascan village of weather-beaten homes nestling the Yukon River as it arches above the Arctic Circle."

Get the Story:
Review: 'Eagle Blue' a slam dunk look at life, hoops in Bush Alaska (The Anchorage Daily News 3/26)
News Account: Writer returns to watch Fort Yukon play (The Anchorage Daily News 3/25)