A lifelong Alaskan, Steve Kahn moved at the age of nine from the “metropolis” of Anchorage to the foothills of the Chugach Mountains. A childhood of berry picking, fishing, and hunting led to a life as a big-game guide. When he wasn’t guiding in the spring and fall, he worked as a commercial fisherman and earned his pilot’s license, pursuits that took him to the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness. He lived through some of the most important moments in the state’s history: the 1964 earthquake (the most powerful in U.S. history), the Farewell Burn wildfire, the last king crab season in Kodiak Island waters, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and cleanup, and even the far-reaching effects of the 9/11 attacks.
The essays in The Hard Way Home offer a view of Alaska that is at once introspective and adventurous. Here we find the state’s plants, animals, people, geography, politics, and culture considered from an intimate perspective, yielding hard-earned lessons about conservation, sustainability, and living well. An irrepressible guide, Kahn invites readers to share his experiences and discoveries and to consider questions about a place, and a life, that are disappearing.
Steve Kahn is a lifelong Alaskan and former hunting guide who lives a subsistence-based lifestyle on Lake Clark near Port Alsworth, Alaska. He is a contributor to the anthologies Wild Moments: Adventures with Animals of the North and Crosscurrents North: Alaskans on the Environment.