Yvette Nolan was inspired to write The Unplugging after the passing of her mother. Feeling that she hadn’t learned enough from her mother, and engaged by a traditional Athabascan legend, she was inspired to write about two aging Indigenous women. In a post-apocalyptic world, Bern and Elena are exiled from their village as they are no longer of child-bearing age and are therefore deemed useless by the new dictatorial Laird. In a freezing, desolate landscape, they are forced to rely upon traditional wisdom and knowledge of the land to survive. Their relationship and hopes for survival start to strengthen as they support each other in their new life. However, when a young, handsome stranger arrives in their midst, the balance shifts. Bern and Elena must decide whether they will share the knowledge of their ancestors in order to help the society that rejected them to survive.
The Unplugging guide sections