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Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscapeby Barry Lopez
Winner of the 1986 National Book Award.
Synopses & Reviews
Barry Lopez's National Book Award-winning classic study of the Far North is widely considered his masterpiece.
Lopez offers a thorough examination of this obscure world-its terrain, its wildlife, its history of Eskimo natives and intrepid explorers who have arrived on their icy shores. But what turns this marvelous work of natural history into a breathtaking study of profound originality is his unique meditation on how the landscape can shape our imagination, desires, and dreams. Its prose as hauntingly pure as the land it describes, Arctic Dreams is nothing less than an indelible classic of modern literature.
"Jubilant....Barry Lopez lavishes his discoveries into a portfolio of delights." The New York Times Book Review
"Wonderfully informed and evocative....Keen observation given shape with language that is deft and vivid." Chicago Tribune
"Rich, abundant, vigorously composed." The Boston Globe
"[It is the earth's] synchronous wealth of life — of all life — that Barry Lopez is celebrating in his jubilant new book. Among contemporary nature writers Mr. Lopez is especially a rhapsodist, and what he has done in this passionate paean to the Arctic and its cycles of light and darkness, its species of ice, its creatures and waters, is to present a whole series of raptures and riffs on the subject of musk oxen, ivory gulls, white foxes, polar bears, icebergs and sea currents....Part-rhapsody, part-history, it is a bifurcated book,and displays a magnificently nonchalant assurance at times (as when he says at one point that Eskimos are not 'errorless in the eyes of God'). As in a labor of love, he couldn't really let go of it; he has added a separate author's note, preface and prologue, and filled it with footnotes that swing among his memories and afterthoughts." New York Times Book Review
"This is one of the finest books ever written about the Far North, warmly appreciative and understanding of the natural forces that shape life in an austere landscape....Today, he contends, an imaginative, emotional approach to the Arctic is as important as a rational, scientific one. Lopez has written a wonderful, compelling defense of the Arctic wilderness." Publishers Weekly
"For Lopez, how the Arctic is comprehended will determine its fate. Whether its land, peoples, and animals are honored or vitiated will depend upon the working out of this metaphorical analogy between mind and landscape. Highly recommended for most collections." Library Journal
A season of transition in North Americaand#8217;s last great wilderness From Nunavut and the Barren Lands of Canada to the westernmost edge of Alaska and back to Churchill, Manitoba, Pete Dunneand#8217;s experiences in the Arctic comprise wilderness, laughter, and contemplation. Whether hunting caribou, examining the balance between the needs of molting geese and societyand#8217;s thirst for oil, or observing majestic but threatened polar bears, Dunne insightfully considers his own life, our interactions with the natural world, and the importance of the Arctic, the planetand#8217;s last frontier.
About the Author
Barry Lopez lives in western Oregon.
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History and Social Science » Arctic and Antarctic » General