Bear Woman Rising by Dorothy Staley




Two Women

One Journey

"As I watched them drive away, I feared she would not make it through another winter. I never forgot her.” ~ Jesse


Dorothy Staley at Zoom Book Club Meeting


  • " Last night was truly an inspiring evening of discussion and sharing. I had many more discussion cues prepared for the evening and all I had to do was begin the sharing by asking about your life journey after 1963 and then the "boys" were off and running. You—with your candor, detail and simplicity—created a "gem" of an evening! " ~ Unitarian Men's Book Club

  • "You were great in our book club meeting today. You capitalize on people's questions and remarks, and give lots of great information. A very sensitive meeting. As you learned, we all REALLY liked the book ! " ~ Silver City Book Club, NM

What readers are saying...

  • " This is a great read. Keeps you enthralled to see where the character development will take them and has great references to Alaska. Totally enjoyed this book and recommend it to all who love adventure. "

  • " Bravo, Dorothy Staley for writing such an interesting and engaging book. "

  • " The author weaves stories of two women into a magic carpet that brings the reader into aspects of life seldom experienced first hand. "

  • " This was an amazing book … Truly a powerful examination of women's roles and being set in the mid 70s gives voice to the rising women's movement that was brewing at that time. "

  • " Bear Woman Rising is one of the few books I’ve chosen to read twice! I felt I was learning so much while really enjoying the characters and their life challenges. "

  • So many aspects captured my interest—the underlying meaning of bear woman rising, the varied characters and their development, the wonderful imagery and the realistic dialog…In short, I loved this book! ”

  • " Fascinating tale "

  • " Highly recommend this well researched and personal account of Alaska, women, and the power of Nature. "

  • " This is a fantastic book, written by a woman who clearly knows her subject: Alaska and the people brave and/or brazen enough to live there. "

  • " An unexpected bonus for me was stepping into life at an Arctic research base - research projects, daily life, challenges, and, of course weather!! I liked how the author's easy dialogue helped create complex characters. "

The Story

Stacks Image 270
Bear Woman Rising is the story of two polar opposite women. Jesse is an analytically-minded, lone female scientist at an arctic research camp. Single and now pregnant, she must leave the outpost she loves, the scientists whose respect she’s earned, and her Iñupiat friend and mentor, Ben Ningeak. The story begins as she heads south, determined to revive her career.

Kara, a heart-centered earth mother, mystic and song writer is heading north, back to a remote wilderness cabin for yet another Alaskan winter. Her heart in her throat, her daughter on her lap and gold-mining husband at the wheel, they return to the Alaskan bush where she barely survived her previous winter. Jesse’s and Kara’s journeys literally intersect at Whitey’s Roadhouse in Yukon Territory.

During a three-day respite from their travels, as they get to know each other, these two women share their life’s lessons and their visions of how they see the world: Jesse, through her analytical mind; Kara, through her connective heart. As these women share their wisdoms, their friendship is forged.

Journey with them as they head their own ways, connected by the empowering bond of female friendship and rising determination to pursue their dreams despite daunting obstacles. This is the powerful journey of Bear Woman Rising.

The Inspiration

Search Results Web results  National Atmospheric Research Laboratory
Bear Woman Rising is a compilation of people and experiences Dorothy Staley cherished from her years living and working in a remote research camp near the Eskimo village of Utqiagvik, then called Barrow, Alaska.

Jesse is a composite of the female scientists and technicians she met and admired in the Arctic.

Kara is based on a young mother Dorothy met in Dawson City in 1976. Fresh from a wilderness cabin and desperate for company, this new friend shared her fears of returning to that cabin where her husband often left her alone to work his gold mine.

As she watched them drive away, Dorothy feared this young mother would not make it through another winter. She never forgot her.

Book Cover Illustrator

Stacks Image 288
Bear Woman Rising cover artist, Britt’Nee Kivliqtaruq Brower, is a strong proponent of Iñupiat values and their relevance in our modern age. She advocates the revitalization of the language, art, story telling, and tattoo traditions of her Iñupiat people and brings this passion to her artwork. Her work incorporates traditional Qupak motifs and adds a modern twist to honor traditional elements of her Iñupiat culture.

Her name, Kivliqtaruq / Qivliqtauraq in Iñupiatun means “Shining one”

Learn more about Britt’Nee and her art by visiting


Contact Dorothy

This field must contain Alpha Numeric characters
This field must contain a valid email address
You have not reached the minimum amount of 50 characters required for this field
This field must have the correct answer.
Thank you! Your submission was successfully sent :-)×
Opps! Some went wrong... Your submission did not go through :-(×


Share the Love