A Place Beyond: Finding Home in Arctic Alaska

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9780882408071: A Place Beyond: Finding Home in Arctic Alaska
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Nick Jans leads us into his “found” home --- the Eskimo village of Ambler, Alaska, and the vast wilderness around it. In his powerful essays, the rhythms of daily arctic life blend with high adventure --- camping among the wolves, traveling with Inupiat hunters, witnessing the Kobuk River at spring breakup.  

 The poignancy of a village funeral comes to life, hordes of mosquitoes whine against a tent, a grizzly stands etched against the snow --- just a sampling of the images and events rendered in Jan’s transparent, visual prose.  Moments of humor ar offset by haunting insights, and by thoughtful reflections on contemporary Inupiaq culture, making A Place Beyond a book to read and enjoy.

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Review:

"If there is meaning beyond words - well - Nick Jans is a literary guide I urge you to read - as he details the stories of his life among the Inupiat people of Ambler, Alaska. Jans has a way of writing that affords the reader the privilege to envision, imagine, see, smell, hear, taste, feel -- to journey intimately to those places where - for far too many authors - their ability fails to open these mysterious dimensions for our souls to wander, to live, to explore. Jans writing creates a yearning in the reader to return to his work - to immerse oneself into the marvelous milieu that Jans is uniquely gifted to create. A Jans writes, "It's not the death of the elders I mourn. It's what's dying with them and what's taking their place." There is an intimacy to Jans writing that allows you to feel what he is writing about - how he actually feels about the subtleties of his many years of living in Ambler reveal. He possesses an uncanny ability to observe and relay for the reader the human dimension of feeling that many writers simply are unable to accomplish. This book is a song. It's music for the soul. Listen to Jans sing: 'And beneath it all is music - a delicate, liquid shattering, a song of returning, of breathing again after long silence. I should join the others in their celebration, but just now, I want to sit alone, to watch and listen as the winter breaks apart.' Nick Jans is an artist whose literary gifts allow the reader to enjoy dimensions of meaning and sensory stimulation amidst a literary topography that has been characterized as -- 'meaning beyond words, ' a place beyond. Enjoy A Place Beyond - Finding Home in Arctic Alaska by Nick Jans. Trust me - you'll fall in love with this book. I did." --BillDahl.com

What has always impressed me about Jans' writing is his modesty and ability to describe scenes aptly without exaggeration...Jans can write about wolves and caribou and ice mostly engagingly, but he is at his best telling of himself and his friends. --- Bill Hunt, We Alaskans

About the Author:

Nick Jans is one of Alaska's most recognized and prolific writers. A contributing editor to "Alaska" magazine with his long-running column, "On the Edge," and a member of the USA Today's board of editorial contributors, he's written name books and hundreds of magazine articles. Jans has also been the recipient of numerous writing awards, most recently two Ben Franklin medals (2007 and 2008). He currently lives in Juneau with his wife, Sherrie, and travels widely in Alaska. He returns each year to Ambler, the arctic Inupiaq village he still calls "home."

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9780882404776: A Place Beyond: Finding Home in Arctic Alaska

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ISBN 10:  0882404776 ISBN 13:  9780882404776
Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books, 1996
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