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

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
Giant’s Hand by Nick Jans)
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 nickjans.com.

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