According to author Nick Jans, “Words, like map and compass, tell one story yet fail at another.”
If there is meaningbeyondwords – 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.
When you sit down to enjoy a meal in a restaurant, sometimes the appetizer is better than the entree. On other occasions, dessert is the most memorable course.
I happened to read Valerie Plame’s BLOWBACK between Bloodmoney by David Ignatius and Back Channel by Stephen L. Carter. Needless to say, Plame’s BLOWBACK was memorable for all the wrong reasons – it simply was bland when compared to the memorable dishes I devoured before and after her entree.
This was my first Stephen L. Carter novel. Back Channel motivated me to buy Carter’s The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln – which I am currently savoring.
Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982. His courses include law and religion, the ethics of war, professional responsibility contracts, and evidence.
This a fascinating read – my first read of what can be characterized as literary fiction. Carter uses the Cuban Missile Crisis as the central setting of this yarn. It is fast-paced, believable, inhabited by intrigue, and crafted in a way that makes the reader legitimately enamored with the pure intellectual prowess of the author’s ability to spin a yarn like this.
A magnificent mystery. You’ll love it. I did. I’m now hooked on Stephen L. Carter.