"The Snow Child," by Mat-Su author Eowyn Ivey, was among the finalists for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in fiction announced on Monday.
Ivey, who lives in Chickaloon, said she had no advance word that her book was being considered. "It never crossed my mind," she said. "I checked my email and there was a note from my publisher. It was a pretty amazing morning."
The Pulitzer judges called Ivey's book, "An enchanting novel about an older homesteading couple who long for a child amid the hard wilderness of Alaska and a feral girl who emerges from the woods to bring them hope."
When it came out in February 2012, "The Snow Child" received wide critical praise and made the best-seller list in several countries, including England, where the writer was named the U.K. National Book Awards International Author of the Year. The paperback edition came out in November and has consistently stayed on the Pacific Northwest regional best seller list since then. Ivey's publisher, Little, Brown, has sent her on book-signing tours to Europe and Australia.
Ivey said she'd been trying to cut back on her travel to work on her next book, a fictionalized account of a military expedition in Alaska in the 1880s. "I thought things were going to quiet down," she said. "But this is a nice surprise."
The winner in the fiction category was "The Orphan Master's Son," by Adam Johnson. "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank," by Nathan Englander shared finalist honors with "The Snow Child."
It appears to be the first work by an Alaska author to be a Pulitzer finalist in the fiction category.
Reach Mike Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4332.