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A short story collection appears poised to fizzle out in the early going, then suddenly catches fire with the fourth entry.

"Twenty-eight pages and three stories in, readers can be forgiven for thinking that the book will be a collection of mundane tales of urban professionals who cheat on their spouses and nothing more. Apart from being set in Alaska, there seems to be little here that differentiates this book from work found in the average literary journal. Therefore it becomes tempting to decide that it's not going anywhere and set it aside.

"This would be a mistake."

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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, Alaska Dispatch News, and Ester Republic. He is editing a forthcoming anthology of Alaska writing.


New book remembers black soldiers who endured racism, harsh environment to build a highway to Alaska

Remembering the men who built the Alaska Highway and didn't receive credit at the time.

"The soldiers were shipped north, where many residents had never seen African Americans before. Both the military brass and the leaders of the communities they passed through wanted to isolate them from the locals. Midway through the book, the authors include some official military letters that are astonishingly racist by today's standards. It was bad enough that even some of the enlisted white men of the time were disgusted, writing letters home complaining that black troops were treated little better than slaves (when winter set in, black soldiers had to build housing facilities for whites before they could build their own; they were still sleeping in tents long after temperatures plunged below zero)."

Read more at the Anchorage Daily News.
A winding path brought Chidozie Menakaya from Lagos, Nigeria, to Fairbanks, Alaska. The latest installment in "Becoming Alaskan."
When I landed back in Fairbanks and walked through those airport doors, I was relieved,” recalled Chidozie Menakaya after returning to Alaska from Lagos, Nigeria. “I thought, ‘What does that mean if Fairbanks gives me relief?’” Then he broke out laughing.