Author Debra Gwartney will be touring the Northwest for her new memoir “I Am a Stranger Here Myself.” She will appear at the Lunch in the Loft series, Thursday, April 18, at 2 p.m., at Beach Books in Seaside.

In this book, Gwartney explores the life and legacy of Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, the first white woman to cross the Rocky Mountains and to give birth on the frontier.

Whitman, driven by religious fervor to “settle” the American West, was one of fourteen people killed at the Whitman Mission (near today’s Walla Walla, Washington) in 1847 by a band of Cayuse. In Whitman’s story, the author recognizes her own ancestors who settled in Idaho.

Blending history and memoir, Gwartney grapples with her family’s exploitative past and present and asks what it means to claim a land as one’s own.

“I Am a Stranger Here Myself.” will be published March 15 by the University of New Mexico Press. Beach Books is locatedat 616 Broadway.

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