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Teaching us to be better humans and Alaskans, one immigrant at a time

After five years, the Becoming Alaskan series about immigrants in Fairbanks has drawn to a close. I'll be archiving all the articles on my website this fall and exploring book possibilities. Meanwhile here's the farewell column.

"Becoming Alaskan has easily been the most rewarding writing project I’ve ever undertaken. To have so many people share their life stories and entrust me to bring them to print has been one of the highest honors of my life. Whittling each of those stories down to the 1,000 words I was allotted has been one of my hardest writing challenges. Behind every story there have been details, quotes and contextual information that I simply couldn’t squeeze in. No person’s life can be told in a newspaper article, but hopefully my summaries have captured part of the essence of each person I’ve profiled."

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About

David James is an Alaskan author and literary critic whose work has been published by the Anchorage Daily News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Anchorage Press, Alaska Dispatch News, Alaska Pulse, Alaska Magazine, and Ester Republic. He is editing a forthcoming anthology of Alaska writing.
Kendell Macomber discusses aerial dancing,which she practices and teaches in Fairbanks, and her pathway into the Fairbanks professional dancing world, where she is a prominent contributor. One day I saw aerialists, and I said, that’s the next level; I have to do that. So I got up in the air and haven’t looked back.” Read more here .
I went for a hike . I got wet. I got grumpy. I got to have a beer at the end. "After pitching our tent I wrapped myself in every piece of dry clothing I had (dry bags, the miners didn’t have those either) and hid under the roof of the large, new, open-air structure that Park Service has built there, drinking coffee and telling anyone who crossed my path that if I ever leave Alaska, I’m moving to the desert."