Thursday, July 21, 2016

49 Writers: Spotlight on Alaska Books | The Giant's Hand by Nick Jans

Like many others before me, I came to Alaska hoping to learn to live with and from the land, though I hardly knew all that it would mean. Over the course of years, I’ve felt my spirit flex as I gutted and skinned, or plucked or scaled, and ate more once-living things than I can count. But no less telling have been the quiet hours alone with the land, watching lives rise and fade as seasons pass. The wild, strange thrill of taking life has long since dimmed, along with any sense of superiority. Every death that passes before my eyes reminds me that I want no more or less than any living being. A human, a crippled moose, or a raven circling overhead, we all strive for the same thing: to breathe another day. Together and alone, we wait beneath the sky, the threads of our lives shifting in the wind. (From The Giant’s Hand by Nick Jans)

Follow award-winning Alaska writer and photographer Nick Jans to northwest arctic Alaska—a vast wilderness where caribou roam, the northern lights blaze, and Inupiaq Eskimo hunters cling to vanishing traditions. Weaving tales of life-or-death adventure, everyday life, and personal experiences gleaned from over three decades of arctic experience, Jans creates vivid, poignant images of a land and its people on the cusp of change. The Giant’s Hand is at the same time a memoir of his own personal journey, brimming with moments of profound, often poetic insight.  

“Jans is an exceptional storyteller—no nature writer can top him in terms of sheer emotional force.” --The New York Times

Nick Jans is a longtime contributing editor to Alaska Magazine and a member of USA Today’s board of editorial contributors. He’s written twelve books and hundreds of magazine articles and columns, and has contributed to many anthologies and other books. Jans is also a professional nature photographer, specializing in Alaska wildlife, landscapes, and Native cultures in remote locations. He has been the recipient of numerous writing awards over the years. Jans lived for 20 years in northwest arctic Alaska, and currently resides out the Haines Highway with his wife, Sherrie, and their dogs, and travels widely in Alaska. He returns each year to the arctic Inupiaq village of Ambler, and the surrounding country he calls home. He is currently working on several book projects, including a long-simmering literary novel set in the Arctic. The Giant’s Hand is available in first edition hardcover from

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