Author and Professor
National Outdoor Book Award
2018 Yankee Quill Award


Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award

"This deeply moving memoir explores two uncharted territories: the wilderness of Alaska, specifically the Kanektok River in the southwestern part of the state, and the wilderness of Parenthood, specifically the region where a recently divorced father and his teenage son try to find new ways to understand each other. " - Nat'l Geographic Traveler 

"This book is a rarity: humble in its beauty, elegant in its reflection." - Anchorage Daily News 

"A quietly observed lyrical portrait of a father and son struggling to break through anger, fear and disappointment to find common ground." - Boston Globe



"Echoes of Thoreau, but also Melville’s restless Ishmael ... A Thoreauvian mission to simplify life and find his truest self by building a lakeside cabin." - Boston Globe 

"A modern day Walden with a midlife twist." - Kirkus

"About how a man rebuilds his life, assembling lumber into a gorgeous home ..." - The New York Times 


Smyrna, September 1922

  • Titled "The Great Fire" in the hard-cover edition, "Smyrna" tells the story of the American rescue of tens of thousands of refugees in the last violent episode of the 20th Century's first genocide. 

"Surprisingly fresh, haunting, and potent, Ureneck offers a new perspective on the unforgivable tragedy at Smyrna and the modern religio-ethnic conflicts that continue to trouble the region."

- Publishers Weekly

"A masterpiece of scholarly precision."

- J. Russell, Armenian Studies, Harvard University. 

"In this spellbinding book, Lou Ureneck recreates one of the most important humanitarian rescue missions of the twentieth-century.  An exceptional account – dramatic, poignant, and masterfully written – of an unforgettable moment in the history of human tragedy and heroism."

 - Caroline Elkins, Harvard University and Pulitzer Prize winner