Synopses & Reviews
From his home in remote Eskimo Village, Nick Jans leads us into a vast, magical world: Alaska's Brooks Range. Drawn from fourteen years of arctic experience, The Last Light Breaking offers a rare perspective on America's last great wilderness and its people--the Inupiat Natives, an ancient culture on the cusp of change.
Making a poignant connection between the world he describes and the world of the Inupiat once knew, Nick Jans invokes with stunning power, the life of the Eskimos in the harsh arctic and the mystical aura of the wilderness of the far North.
With the eye of an outdoorsman and the heart of a poet, Jans weaves together these 23 essays with strands of native American narrative, making vivid a place where wolves and grizzlies still roam free, hunters follow the caribou, and old women cast their nets in the dust as they have for countless generations. But looming on the horizon is the world of roads and modern technology; the future has already arrived in the form of stop signs, computers, and satellite dishes. Jans creates unforgettable images of a proud people facing an uncertain future, and of his own journey through this haunting timeless landscape.
“A fresh wonderful new voice, all the more alive against the grave and ancient background of Inupiat tradition, wildlife, and the waiting landscape. I much admire The Last Light Breaking.”
--- Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard and At Play in the Fields of the Lord
"The Last Light Breaking by Nick Jans A Phenomenal Work of Literary Artistry I've read a number of books artfully crafted by Nick Jans - The Grizzly Maze and A Wolf Called Romeo - to name two of my favorites. I recently had the opportunity to read Nick's first book, The Last Light Breaking. I savored this journey into the lives of the Inupiat people of Ambler, Alaska - a people who, according to Jans, 'move within the eddying currents of time, space and light - where the laws of physics seem to float freely, compressing and expanding, refusing logic.' This book is an anthropological treasure. Yet - it's much, much more than that. For the naturalist, the outdoors person, wildlife biologist - and those who simply enjoy a damn fine artist (Jans) and the tales of his time in a place that most will never journey remotely close too - It's a fantastic read! The characters, creatures, culture and challenges of living in a remote village like Ambler provide a wide and diverse audience with every element essential to invigorating the readers interest - and a yearning to return to the volume to continue enjoying Jans literary artistry. Buy it. Savor it. Learn. Listen. Prepare to perceive the world around you in a unique and precious way." --BillDahl.net
In breathtaking prose, Alaskan writer and teacher Nick Jans offers an insider's perspective on America's last great wilderness and its northernmost people, the Inupiat Eskimos.
From his home in remote Eskimo Village, Nick Jans leads us into a vast, magical world: Alaska's Brooks Range. Drawn from fourteen years of arctic experience, The Last Light Breaking offers a rare perspective on America's last great wilderness and its people--the Inupiat Eskimos, an ancient culture on the cusp of change.
Making a poignant connection between the world he describes and the world of the Inupiat once knew, Nick Jans invokes with stunning power the life of the Eskimos in the harsh arctic and the mystical aura of the wilderness of the far North.
About the Author
Nick Jans is one of Alaska’s most recognized and prolific writers. A contributing editor to Alaska Magazine and a member of USA Today’s board of editorial contributors, he’s written nine books and hundreds of magazine articles, and contributed to many anthologies. His range includes poetry, short fiction, literary essays, natural history, outdoor adventure, fishing, and political commentary. He has been the recipient of numerous writing awards including a Rasmuson Foundation artist grant. He currently lives in Juneau with his wife, Sherrie, and travels widely in Alaska. He returns each year to Ambler, the arctic Inupiaq Eskimo village in which he lived for 20 years, and the place he still calls “home.”
Table of Contents
Preface – 9, Acknowledgements – 11, Map – 12, Getting There – 17, Ambler Trading – 21, Black River Autumn – 33, Two Worlds, One Spirit – 41, My Last Grizzly – 53, Arctic Heroes – 65, The River of Their Passing – 83, Beat the Qaaviks – 91, Running with the Wolves – 101, A Place Beyond – 109, What They Leave Behind – 115, Sheefish Time – 125, The Old Man’s Winter – 131, A Trip to the Store – 141, Housekeeping in the Northwest Arctic – 147, The Circle of the Kill – 161, A Good Thing – 165, Fire at Us! – 173, Traveling Like Clarence – 177, Sharing the Weight – 189, An Amulet of the Spirit – 197, A Place Called Red Dog – 201, The Last Light Breaking – 209, Epigraph Sources – 215, Suggested Reading - 218