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Correcting the landscape : a novel
Marjorie Kowalski Cole
Adult Fiction COLE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The publisher of a Fairbanks, Alaska, weekly newspaper finds himself tested by matters of love and money in Cole's resolute first novel. Gus Traynor has run the Mercury for 15 years, aided by his fiery sister, Noreen, but these days costs are up and ad sales are down. The paper's difficulties come at a bad time for Gus, a likable and sometimes reluctant gadfly who, after many years of bachelorhood, finds a new reason to fight for his paper's longevity: part-time journalist Gayle Kenneally, a single mother from the native village of Allakeket whose thoughtful, unhurried self-possession capture Gus's attention and ultimately his heart. In Gus, Cole has crafted a sympathetic, winning everyman with a believable mix of pragmatic and contemplative impulses. Cole's attention to an ongoing litany of town issues, on the other hand-the debate over a controversial book; a logging bill-never come alive, but read instead as a lackluster strategy to ratchet up tension. The novel's characters, and their tentative, fully felt interactions in the service of building friendships and love-especially Gus's nervous, endearing, faltering attempts to get closer to Gayle-are at the story's heart, and propel it forward with quiet force. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Confessions from a contemporary St. Augustine dominate Alaska native Cole's complex debut, which earned the 2004 Bellwether Prize. Protagonist Gus Traynor edits The Mercury with an eye toward raising the consciousness of Fairbanks, AK, residents. That goal becomes difficult after a series of controversial articles prompts advertisers to withdraw their support, which nudges the paper toward bankruptcy and sends Gus into an existential tailspin. Readers concerned with social justice will appreciate the struggling editor's polemics on censorship, race, and class, while others will relish Cole's skillfully executed passages describing a dazzling landscape repeatedly scarred by ecological crises. Most interesting, perhaps, are Gus's quirky friends and colleagues, who include an Irish expatriate poet and a good-natured land developer with a morbid fascination with heavy machinery. In fact, readers hoping to learn more about them might be somewhat disappointed by the novel's focus on Gus's personal growth. However, Cole's argument that "Readers need to read for what's left out," coupled with her heartfelt, insightful storytelling, more than justifies her use of the first-person limited perspective. Recommended for large public libraries and regional collections.-Leigh Anne Vrabel, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Gus Traynor
Runs a weekly newspaper; in love with Gayle.
Newspaper publisher

Noreen Traynor
Gus's sister; helps her brother with his weekly newspaper.
Newspaper employee

Gayle Kenneally
Single mother

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