30 in 30: Day 17 (wolf-dogs, whiskey, and badass women)

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Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)

Cover photo for How to Keep a Human

My favourite collection of short stories is How to Keep a Human (as told by Amaruq), written by Kaimana Wolff.

The stories are ghost-written by Amaruq the wolf dog, and tell of his adventures in Yukon with his pack leader, Kaimana Wolff. Kaimana lived up in Yukon with Amaruq in her 20s, and all these stories are true. (And the truth about stories is — that’s all we are. But I’ve already talked about Thomas King on this blog.)

My favourite story is The King of Dawson City, wherein Amaruq and Kaimana defend their thrones from interlopers from the south. It’s my favourite because in it, Kaimana ends up beating up a guy for making one unwanted sexual advance on her too many (and for siccing his dog on Ruq), in the middle of a cheering crowd in Dawson City, while Ruq holds his own against the other dog. Why does this make me so happy? Kaimana Wolff is my mother, and this story illustrates just how badass she is — and that badass blood runs in my veins.

I come from a long line of badass Dutch women, all the way back to the Viking age. We wear combat boots, chug sourtoe cocktails, run with the wolves, and don’t take any crap from any man.

And our dogs write about our exploits in short story collections.

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