Jeremy Atiyah grew up and was educated in Oxford. He began travelling as a young man and eventually became a travel wiriter as well as being, for several years, travel editor of the Independent on Sunday. A gifted linguist, he travelled to many remote parts of the world, none more remote than Alaska, where the idea for this book was conceived. His interest in the geographical connection between Siberia and Alaska led to several visits, including winter months spent in Irkutsk. The Great Land grew out of research conducted there, in Alaska and London. The manuscript for the book, which he intended for a general audience, was discovered when he died suddenly in 2006 at the age of 43.
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