Former Mountaineer publisher puts together Aleutian book

Photographer Ken Wilson of Waynesville recently published his first book, The Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Living on the Edge.

The book is a stunning compilation of photos from Alaska where Wilson went with wife, Kathy, to serve as missionaries to the United Methodist Church on Unalaska Island. The couple have returned to Western North Carolina and live in Waynesville.

Wilson, who was the publisher of The Mountaineer in Haywood County for two decades and spent 35 years in the newspaper business, had long been a nature photographer. When he got to the Aleutians, be began shooting images of the wildlife and the native people. The book’s outstanding photography is accompanied by a series of essays by those familiar with the islands, and includes mini-biographies of many of the residents.

Reviewer Andrew Blechman had this say about Wilson’s book: “Chances are I am never going to get around to having the time and the money to spend a summer touring these islands via the Alaska state ferry, which connects many of the islands to each other and to the Alaskan mainland. If you don’t expect to get around to this one either, do yourself a big favor and check out this book. It’s an extraordinary and beautiful part of the world that is well worth visiting, even if only via a great book. The Aleutian Islands of Alaska: Living on the Edge – Highly Recommended.”

Wilson spent three years photographing the islands, and then another couple of years putting the book together. The book captures the islands tumultuous weather, stunning landscapes, and the story of the native Unangan people.

The 160-page book is available on and at some local bookstores. To read an e-press release about the book visit

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