Lookout tells the story of the Kinzlers, a complex working-class family firmly rooted in northwestern Montana.
Josiah and Margaret Kinzler have forged an unusual bond marked by both tenderness and distance; their daughters, Cody and Louisa, grow up watching their parents navigate what it means to be true to yourself and what that costs. Lookout offers a gripping dual coming-of-age: Cody's from stoic ranch kid to hotshot firefighter to resilient woman learning to rely on others, and Josiah's as he struggles to thrive in a world that has misunderstood him. Bound by their love of the land, the Kinzlers work to bridge the gaps created by what they leave unspoken. Lookout brings to life a family coming out to itself, at home in a new and nuanced American West.
About the Author
Christine Byl is the author of Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods (Beacon Press, 2013), a book about trail crews, tools, wildness, and labor; it was short-listed for the 2014 Willa Award in nonfiction. Her prose has appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, The Sun, Crazyhorse, and Brevity, among other journals and anthologies. A grant recipient from the Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and winner of the Alaska Literary Award in 2015, Byl has been a fellow at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and writer-in-residence for Fishtrap's Writer-in-the-Schools program. Christine has worked as a professional trail-builder for more than twenty-five years; she lives with her family in Interior Alaska on the homelands of the Dene.