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After countless rescues of bus-bound pilgrims, and, this summer, the second drowning death of one of them, I revisited Into the Wild and explored how Jon Krakauer's heroic account of Christopher McCandless is cut from whole cloth.


"Alaskans tend to blame Chris McCandless for the perpetual troubles his disciples have inflicted on themselves and the state. It’s easy to do so. He stumbled into Alaska and up the Stampede Trail wholly unprepared to experience his fever dream of living off the land. He walked a scant few miles beyond civilization and the road system and camped out in a bus. He didn’t have a map. His self-obsession bordered on megalomania. He starved to death — a stupid, senseless, and entirely preventable way to die so close to civilization. Why, we Alaskans ask ourselves, would anyone consider this person to be a hero?

"The answer lies not so much in McCandless himself as in the way his story was presented."

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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, 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.
Jenifer Cameron, a professional artist and retired art teacher, took the time to discuss her life's work as she prepared to leave Fairbanks with her husband for their new home in Seldovia.

“Everybody is an artist. When you’re creating and you’re expressing yourself and making marks on a paper and engaged in the process, that’s what artists do. I believe everybody’s creative. Our brains are built to be creative and curious. It’s hard to not be.”

Read more here.