Synopses & Reviews
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.
"One bright morning a dozen years ago, Clarence Wood and I stood on the crest of a birch knoll, looking out over the upper Kobuk valley. Before us, thousands of caribou graved, dark specks trailing off into the blue-white distance. Clarence turned, his eathered Eskimo face split b a wide grin. 'Lots,' he said quietly. 'Lots.' The longer I live here and write, the more I find myself following Clarence's cue --- turning to smpler words, and fewer of them. My hope, in these twenty-eight brief essays about life in the Alaskan arctic, is to find words not big enough, but small enough for a landscape and a place without end."
From the Preface, page 11
About the Author
Nick Jans lives with his wife, Sherrie in Juneau, Alaska.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments - pg 7, Map pg - 8, Preface pg - 11, Grandpa’s Ghost pg -15, Putyuq Always Get pg-21, Thin Water pg – 27, Sometimes Always Never pg 33, Gearhead Heaven pg – 39, One of Us pg – 45, A State of Mind pg – 51, The Only Game pg - 59, Whistle for the Wind pg – 65, The Killing Field pg – 71, The Light Within pg – 77, The Trouble with Wood pg – 83, Mister Rue pg – 89, Coming Home pg – 95, Dollies pg – 103, Beautiful Meat pg – 109, Remembering What They Know pg – 115, The Hardest Season pg- 121, Dumb Head pg - 127, One Leaf pg – 113, I Pick Your Name pg – 141, Wolves Are Listening pg – 147, Traveling with My Eyes pg – 153, Permission pg – 159, The Song of Ice pg – 165, Fourteen Bucks pg – 171, The Quiet Voices pg – 179, This Place pg – 185.