There is no snow in the novel “Small Game”.
This may disappoint at least some readers familiar with the book’s author, Blair Braverman. She and her husband, Quince Her Mountain, author of The Northwoods, live near The Mountain and run her team Braver Her Mountain Her Mashing Her Racing Her Team. Much of her writing career is based on her experiences running with dog teams in northern climates.
her acclaimed memoir, “Welcome to the fucking Ice Cube” The Californian details how she fell in love with North’s ideas as a girl, learned how to live in Norway and get mud, and worked as a dog sledding tour guide on a glacier in Alaska. Braverman is also a regular contributor to Outside magazine and the New York Times, providing advice and essays on the subject of adventure and the outdoors.
Braverman fans, however, will be pleased to see that her first work of fiction, The Small Game, features many other characteristics that set her writing apart. A strong, smart, capable female protagonist. Nuanced, layered, and humane storytelling.
‘Naked and Afraid’ inspired Braverman’s first fiction book
“Small Game” tells the story of Mara, a tough young woman who works as a trainer at an outdoor survival camp. She is also naive (raised in isolation by her prepper parents), financially vulnerable, and trapped in a toxic relationship with a long-term boyfriend. To start her life, Mara signs up to a reality TV show called “Civilization” where four participants survive in the wild.
Braverman readers can see echoes of her own real-life adventures in the thriller story.
In 2019, Braverman appeared on the Discovery Channel reality show ‘Naked and Afraid’. She was dropped in the bush in South Africa, which was not a pleasant experience. She was tapped out early, about two weeks later. She was hospitalized with a wound on her cheek that eventually became necrotic. In other words, the tissue around her wound was dying.
“It may have been caused by a violin spider bite,” she later wrote. Published in Outside Magazine March 2020“It could have been a common staphylococcal infection.”
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The experience may have been frightening and terrifying, but it also planted the seeds of “small game.”
“I don’t sleep well when I’m outside,” Braverman said in a recent phone interview. “Fire keeps animals away. As soon as the fire subsides, I wake up in a panic.”
I had a show routine. Most days were spent filming, talking to cameras, and doing what reality show contestants do. The crew, who wore chaps to protect themselves from snake bites and had guns, left the area and the people on the show were alone.
One night, when the survivors were at their most vulnerable, she had an idea.
If that had happened, the TV show would have turned into a true survival situation.
“The crew were very professional, so I wasn’t really afraid it would happen,” Braverman said. “Honestly, I thought it was a great story. I just wanted to know.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected ‘small games’
Braverman began writing “Small Game” in January 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All the dog races were canceled and everything felt precarious,” Braverman said. The general anxiety, fatigue, and anger that the public was feeling were also conveyed in the book.
“It has the same energy, the same emotion, the same skewed perspective,” said Braverman.
“Small Game” has a dystopian aura. But there’s also an element of blossoming love, a form of growth and mystery, and real-life reality. .
You can also acquire survival skills by reading books carefully. “Small Game” is set in the fictional region of the Northern Forest. Braverman thinks the location is somewhere along the border of northern Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula.
To make sure the facts in the book were correct, Braverman took a long hike with a naturalist friend who was an expert in eating wild foods. I pointed out the plants that should.
When Mara’s character and the three other contestants who are on the show with her are dropped into the area, they eat sumac buds and drink nettle tea.
Braverman does not recommend tea as a tasty drink. “Holy shit,” she said.
The book appears to be selling well, Braverman said, but he doesn’t track sales closely. Better feedback, she said, comes from the letters and notes she receives as feedback.
“It’s really fun,” she said.
In the book, Mara is being raised by parents who are doomsday survivalists.
“I got a letter from someone who was raised by Apocalypse preppers,” said Braverman. “She said, ‘I want you to know that it was just like that,’ and it was incredible.”
To purchase “Small Game”
“Small Game” is available at your local bookstore or online from publisher HarperCollins. harpercollins.com.
Featured reporter Keith Oorig is based in Wausau. 715-845-0651 or email@example.comFollow him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook @UhligK.