Piano Tide

Piano Tide

By Kathleen Dean Moore. Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2016

Piano Tide has been awarded the 2017 WILLA Award for Creative Nonfiction, from the literary organization, Women Writing the West. The book was also a finalist for the 2017 ASLE Environmental Creative Book Award.

Piano Tide is the debut novel by award-winning naturalist, philosopher, activist, and author Kathleen Dean Moore. Set in coastal Alaska, the book tells the “savagely funny” story of a town’s transformative act of resistance to corporate plunder, as the townsfolk stand up for what they share: this Earth, this life, this wild and enduring hope.  We are introduced to town father Axel Hagerman, who has made a killing in the remote Alaskan town of Good River Harbor by selling off the spruce, the cedar, the herring, and the halibut. But when he decides to export the water from a salmon stream, he runs headlong into young Nora Montgomery, just arrived on the ferry with her piano and her dog. Nora has burned her bridges in the Lower 48, and she aims to disappear into this new homeland, with her piano as her anchor. But when Axel’s next business proposition, a bear pit, turns lethal, Nora has to act. The clash, when it comes, is a spectacular and transformative act of resistance.


Kathleen Dean Moore is an honorary member of ASLE and the author of many books of nature-focused essays: Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water, winner of the 1995 Pacific Northwest Book Award; Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World, recipient of the 1999 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award; The Pine Island Paradox, winner of the 2004 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction; Wild Comfort, finalist for the same award; and Great Tide Rising (Counterpoint, 2016).