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jean lester: Books

Jean Lester works out of her home and studio in Ester, Alaska, just outside of Fairbanks. She studied painting in San Francisco after leaving her native Canada, and has lived and painted in Alaska since 1970. She is well known for her images of flowers, people, and landscapes done in her own intuitive impressionistic style, and her paintings hang in private collections in the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada.

A dedicated believer in working with the past to bring it into the future, Lester has been praised for her unique oral history books about notable Alaskans, In which she presents their life stories, told in their own words, along with her sensitive portraits of them in oils and pastels.

For information on how to order any of these books please email info@jeanlester.com.

Jorgy book jacket Jorgy:
The Life of Native Alaskan Bush Pilot and Airline Captain Holger "Jorgy" Jorgensen

Kindle edition now available at amazon.com.

This book is the autobiography of an Inupiat man, born in an isolated mining community, having only an eighth-grade education, who amidst a frontier mentality of conqueror superiority, surpassed the prejudice of his time to become a legendary aviator. Early aviation, the Alaska Territorial Guard, segregation, the DEW line, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline were part of this exciting and tumultuous time in Alaska's history. Boom and bust, exploration and exploitation to such an extent no one could have imagined or anticipated, was Alaska when Jorgy was growing up and flying. Jean Lester brings her talent for capturing the voices of her subjects to bear, vividly relaying Holger "Jorgy" Jorgensen's wry and laconic tales of his life in the northern air.

Visit The Jorgy Jorgensen blog for more information.

Faces of Alaska book jacket Faces of Alaska:
Voices Across the State

A collection of portraits, oral histories, and personal and historical photographs that vividly capture the lives of these exceptional Alaskans:

Doris Ann (D.A.) Bartlett
Debbie Bourdukofsky
Helen (Sandy) Burd
Larry Carr
Rosie Floresca
Barney Gottstein
Ellen Hayes
Robert Henning
Anore Jones
Josephine Jurgeleit
John Kelsey
Martha Kowalski
Marie Laws
Lael Morgan
Walter Newman
Fr. Michael Oleksa
Betsy Pitzman
Elva Scott
Al Swalling
Alex Tarnai
Willy Lou Warbelow
Faces of Alaska (Barrow - Wrangell) book jacket Faces of Alaska:
From Barrow to Wrangell

This book is similar to her previous book Faces of Alaska (see below), combining portraits, oral histories and photographs of twenty-two Alaskans. It gives the reader a selection of people from various parts of Alaska who by telling of their lives, help show why Alaska is the unique place that it is.

Portraits and interviews include:

Rita Blumenstein
Edith Bullock
Margaret Calvin
Ray Christiansen
Rachel Craig
Dale DeArmond
Ashley Dickerson
Edward Edwardson
Sylvia Kobayashi
Eva Merrifield
Ralph Moody
Rose Palmquist
Helen Rhode
George Rogers
Donald K. Schirmer
Harriet Jackson Schirmer
James A. Sebesta, S.J.
Natalie Simeonoff
Amos Turner
Joseph E. Usibelli
Albert Yrjana
Albert A. Zucchini
Faces of Alaska book jacket Faces of Alaska:
A Glimpse of History through Paintings, Photographs and Oral Histories

This book features twenty-five oil portraits painted by Jean Lester; oral histories of these Alaskans, recorded by Jean; and historical photographs from their private collections, It gives the reader a look at Alaskan history through the eyes of the people who lived it, and an opportunity to "meet" these people who have endured and flourished in the Alaskan Interior from territorial days through the first 29 years if Statehood.

Portraits and interviews include:

Janet Baird
Forbes Baker
Bessie Barnabas
Elton Buzby
Mary Carey
Jean Dementi
Everett Ford
Albro Gregory
Esther Hall
Coy Hill
Celia Hunter
Gene Jones
Bea Kennedy
Niilo Koponen
Al Larsen
Willian Loyens, S.J.
Howard Luke
Colin MacDonald
Lois Meier
Lesley Salisbury
Olga Steger
Aldoph Stock
Libby Wescott
Eva Williams
Tony Zak