Debby Dahl Edwardson

writing from the top of the world

My family


My World . . .

Our Grandchildren: Wesley--Unalina, Josie--Piglik, and Qilaavsuk.

The elders say the earth has turned over seven times,
pole to pole, north to south.
Freezing and thawing, freezing and thawing,
flipping over and tearing apart.
Changing everything.

We were there.
We were always there.
They say no one survived the ice age but they’re wrong.
There were seven ice ages and we survived.
We survived them all . . .

--from My Name is Not Easy


What makes a person unique?


We are all of us reflections of the experiences we've had, the places we've lived, the people we've loved.

I've found a good life here on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, a place of many challenges and many rewards. I haven't always lived here, but I've always lived in northern places. I grew up in Minnesota, where I spent summers with my mother at our family cabin on an island in the Boundary Waters of the Canadian border. My mother was an artist and I was a dreamer...and a reader.

As I grew older, I ventured even further north, to Noway, the land of my ancestors where I immersed myself in the Norwegian culture and learned the language. I attended Nansenskolen in Lillehammer--long before Lillehammer became the site of the winter Olympics.

The school was named after Fridjof Nansen, arctic explorer. Little did I know that I would follow Nansen's footsteps, north to the arctic--not as an explorer, but as a wanderer.

My wanderings took me to northern Alaska, home of the Inupiat, the "real people." There I found a mentor who taught me to see the world through his eyes. It was a good world.

I married this man whose grandfather, as it turned out, was Norwegian. Together we've raised seven children who are now living all over the country and across the globe from Washington DC to Austrailia.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. Along the way I've worked as a nurse's aide, a waitress, a pipeline worker, a radio reporter, a PR writer, a college director and a school board president. And now, at last, I really am a writer. Isn't it interesting how life works?

The author, age 9 . . .

...and age 19

My Writing

"...an extraordinary tale of love, betrayal, and above all, survival." Ellen Levine
Writing for Young People
a novel for young people about love, loss and finding your way home.
A celebration of family and community.