Millions of North American TV viewers first met Dick Proenneke through the programme “Alone in the Wilderness,” which documents Dick’s 30 year adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. On the shores of Twin Lakes, Dick built his cabin and nearly all of the household objects he required to survive, from the ingenious wooden hinges on his front door to the metal ice creepers he strapped to his boots.
And now, “The Handcrafted Life of Dick Proenneke” examines this adventure through the lens of Dick’s tools and the objects he made. Written by Monroe Robinson – the caretaker of Dick’s cabin and his personal effects – the book weaves together vintage photos and entries from Dick’s journals plus new drawings and images to paint a portrait of a man fully engaged in life and the natural world around him.
In 1999, after departing Twin Lakes at the age of 82, Dick donated his cabin and all its contents to the National Park Service. For 19 summers, beginning in 2000, Monroe and his wife, K. Schubeck, served as caretakers for Dick’s cabin, all the while honouring his motto of “keeping it true”. The cabin, its objects and this book show how you can make anything you need from almost nothing.
No one holds a more intimate knowledge of Dick’s handcrafted life than Monroe, and just as Dick shared his life through letters and film, Monroe knew he had a responsibility to share all that he had learned. This book, which includes excerpts from more than 7,000 pages of Dick’s transcribed journals along with hundreds of photos, dozens of illustrations, and Monroe’s thoughtful and detailed commentary, is the result. It’s nonfiction, how-to, adventure and memoir, but at its heart, it’s a guidebook on how to live a life that’s “true,” with materials found and a few simple tools. Appealing to woodworkers, toolmakers, homesteaders, hikers, naturalists, conservationists, survivalists and lovers of Alaska, this book is for those who want to know how one man lived an intentional life, the kind of life many dream of living.
“The Handcrafted Life of Dick Proenneke” is 456 pages, hardbound, 8½” x 11″, printed in full colour on coated #80 matte paper.
Like all Lost Art Press books, it is produced entirely in the United States.
The cover features a diestamp showing Dick’s cabin, which is pressed into a green cotton cover cloth. You can download the free pdf via this link.