A Place Beyond: Finding Home in Arctic Alaska

A Place Beyond: Finding Home in Arctic Alaska

by Nick Jans
     
 

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In A Place Beyond, 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 wolves, traveling with Iñupiat hunters, witnessing the Kobuk River at breakup. The poignancy of a village… See more details below

Overview

In A Place Beyond, 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 wolves, traveling with Iñupiat hunters, witnessing the Kobuk River at 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 are offset by haunting insights, and by thoughtful reflections on contemporary Iñupiat culture, making A Place Beyond a book to savor.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780882408996
Publisher:
Graphic Arts Books
Publication date:
11/15/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,213,053
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

Read an Excerpt

The real question, though, wasn't what or when, but why. I knew they didn't quite understand what held me here. If only they could sit with me and watch the caribou flowing south down the Redstone valley, or smell the tundra after a late spring rain. Come up, I told them, and I'll show you.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

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

Nick Jans has a lot going for him. I will mention only two. He lived in Northwestern Alaska and understands that part of the country and its people, and he can write. A single word description of his writing is ‘succinct.’    —- Robert DeArmond, Daily Sitka Sentinel

Jans grasps the awesomeness of the land and the smallness of man’s presence there, just as he intends to do. His language is as simple as moss while being as profound as the arctic horizon. Indeed, we are very lucky to have Nick Jans, an Alaskan writer who has learned to express awe and remembers the elders who taught him.   Nancy Brown, Peninsula Clarion

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