The relationship between humans and canines goes back to prehistoric days. While we think of them today mostly as companions, dogs have a rich legacy as working animals that provided strength, endurance, and agility in difficult tasks. On Wednesday in #litchat we’re discussing man’s best friend and how the dog’s been viewed through literary history. Friday’s guest host, Andrea Thalasinos, concludes the topic with a discussion of her novel, An Echo Through the Snow.
An Echo Through the Snow is an inspiring story of how a single act of kindness can transform your life. Rosalie MacKenzie is headed nowhere until she sees Smokey, a Siberian husky suffering from neglect. Rosalie finds the courage to rescue the dog, and—united by the bond of love that forms between them—they save each other. Soon Rosalie and Smokey are immersed in the world of competitive dogsled racing. Days are filled with training runs, the stark beauty of rural Wisconsin, and the whoosh of runners on snow. Rosalie discovers that behind the modern sport lies a tragic history: the heartbreaking story of the Chukchi people of Siberia. When Stalin’s Red Army displaced the Chukchi in 1929, many were killed and others lost their homes and their beloved Guardians—the huskies that were the soul and livelihood of their people.
An Echo Through the Snow is Thalasino’s first novel. The daughter of a Greek American family, she grew up in the New York area where her early love of animals was confined mostly to luring home stray dogs by surreptitiously feeding them and then trying to keep them hidden from her parents. Through a quirk of fate, she later moved to the northern Great Lakes and began attending the University of Wisconsin Madison where she completed a PH.D. With academic training in sociology, she compares the excavation of history, people and events to, “discovering diamonds in a place one would never expect, embedded into stories that are yet to be told. It’s exhilarating as information and story weave together to form new ways of seeing previously unexamined or unknown things.”
She remembers telling a close friend after graduation, “Whew, glad that’s over, now I can write fiction and get a dog!” Currently, Andrea lives in Madison Wisconsin where she is working on her second novel.
Follow Andrea Thalasinos on Twitter: @gorkyandrea.