This is chance! [electronic resource] : the shaking of an all-American city, a voice that held it together. Jon Mooallem.
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- ISBN: 9780525509936 (electronic bk)
- Physical Description: 1 online resource
The thrilling, cinematic story of a community shattered by disaster—and the extraordinary woman who helped pull it back together In the spring of 1964, Anchorage, Alaska, was a modern-day frontier town yearning to be a metropolis—the largest, proudest city in a state that was still brand-new. But just before sundown on Good Friday, the community was jolted by the most powerful earthquake in American history, a catastrophic 9.2 on the Richter Scale. For four and a half minutes, the ground lurched and rolled. Streets cracked open and swallowed buildings whole. And once the shaking stopped, night fell and Anchorage went dark. The city was in disarray and sealed off from the outside world. Slowly, people switched on their transistor radios and heard a familiar woman's voice explaining what had just happened and what to do next. Genie Chance was a part-time radio reporter and working mother who would play an unlikely role in the wake of the disaster, helping to put her fractured community back together. Her tireless broadcasts over the next three days would transform her into a legendary figure in Alaska and bring her fame worldwide—but only briefly. That Easter weekend in Anchorage, Genie and a cast of endearingly eccentric characters—from a mountaineering psychologist to the local community theater group staging Our Town— were thrown into a jumbled world they could not recognize. Together, they would make a home in it again. Drawing on thousands of pages of unpublished documents, interviews with survivors, and original broadcast recordings, This Is Chance! is the hopeful, gorgeously told story of a single catastrophic weekend and proof of our collective strength in a turbulent world. There are moments when reality instantly changes—when the life we assume is stable gets upended by pure chance. This Is Chance! is an electrifying and lavishly empathetic portrayal of one community rising above the randomness, a real-life fable of human connection withstanding chaos.
Electronic reproduction. New York : Random House, 2020. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 4582 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB).
- Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2020 May #1
On March 27, 1964, Southcentral Alaska was struck by the magnitude 9.2 Good Friday Earthquake. The greatest earthquake in U.S. history, it nearly destroyed several towns and villages in the region and devastated the new state's largest city, Anchorage. Out of all the stories to emerge in the aftermath, that of KENI radio reporter Genie Chance has largely been forgotten. Author Mooallem (Wild Ones, 2013) spent years digging into state archives, listening to old tapes, and tapping into a massive amount of records from Chance's family to piece together her story and the important work she did broadcasting throughout the devastated aftermath to get critical information out to the community. The account of the earthquake is gripping and Chance is a long-overlooked person of significance with a particularly poignant personal history, but Mooallem's use of third person when referring to himself rings false and the sudden shift from a tense day-to-day chronology to a less-focused approach creates narrative confusion. Still, readers fascinated by earthquakes and Alaska, will find this compelling. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.
Jon Mooallem is a longtime writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a contributor to numerous radio shows and other magazines, including This American Life and Wired. His first book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America was chosen as a notable book of the year by The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, NPR&;s Science Friday, and Canada&;s National Post, among others. He lives on Bainbridge Island, outside Seattle, with his family.
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