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Fiction Historical

Anna, Like Thunder

A Novel

by (author) Peggy Herring

TouchWood Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2018
Historical, Contemporary Women, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2018
    List Price

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In 1808, the Russian Ship St. Nikolai ran aground off the Olympic Peninsula; this novel is based on this astounding historical event and the lives of the people affected.

In 1808, eighteen-year-old Anna Petrovna Bulygina is aboard the Russian ship St. Nikolai when it runs aground off on the west coast of Washington State on the Olympic Peninsula. The crew, tasked with trading for sea otter pelts and exploring the coast, are forced to shore into Indigenous territory, where they are captured, enslaved, and then traded among three different Indigenous communities. Terrified at first, Anna soon discovers that nothing—including slavery—is what she expected. She begins to question Russian imperialist aspirations, the conduct of the crew, and her own beliefs and values as she experiences a way of life she never could have imagined.

Based on historical record, Anna, Like Thunder blends fact and fiction to explore the early days of contact between Indigenous people and Europeans off the west coast of North America and offers a fresh interpretation of history.

"An intimate engagement with a little known ghost of North American history and memory." --Jaspreet Singh, author of Helium and November

About the author

Peggy Herring spent her career as a journalist with the CBC, and has worked all over Canada, as well as in Nepal, London, Dhaka, and New Delhi. Peggy is the author of This Innocent Corner (Oolichan Books, 2010), and her short fiction has been featured in a variety of publications, including The Antigonish Review, The New Quarterly, and Prism International. Visit her at

Peggy Herring's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A beautifully rendered and intimate tale of loss, discovery and redemption, Anna, Like Thunder takes readers into the heart of North American west coast Indigenous culture: the forests, beaches and ocean that embrace and sustain them. Peggy Herring writes so seamlessly that I felt like I was Russian Anna Bulygina, learning to dry salmon, following a wolf to safety, or confronting the tragic consequences of my colonial heritage on the people who've kept me alive and befriended me."

author of The Performance

"An intimate engagement with a little known ghost of North American history and memory."

author of Helium and November

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