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The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circleby Sara Wheeler
Synopses & Reviews
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
More than a decade ago, Sara Wheeler traveled to Antarctica to understand a continent nearly lost to myth and lore. In the widely acclaimed, bestselling Terra Incognita, she chronicled her quest to find a hidden history buried in Antarcticas extreme surroundings. Now, Wheeler journeys to the opposite pole to create a definitive picture of life on the fringes. In The Magnetic North, she takes full measure of the Arctic: at once the most pristine place on earth and the locus of global warming.
Inspired by the spiraling shape of a reindeer-horn bangle, she travels counterclockwise around the North Pole through the territories belonging to Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, marking the transformations of what once seemed an unchangeable landscape. As she witnesses the mounting pollution concentrated at the pole, Wheeler reckons with the illness of the whole organism of the earth.
Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, shadowing the endless Trans-Alaska Pipeline with a tough Idaho-born outdoorswoman, herding reindeer with the Lapps, and visiting the haunting, deceptively peaceful lands of the Gulag, Wheeler brings the Arctics many contradictions to life. The Magnetic North is an urgent, beautiful book, rich in dramatic description and vivid reporting. It is a singular, deeply personal portrait of a region growing daily in global importance.
In order to understand climate change and our enormous dependence on oil, Sara Wheeler set out for the desolate vistas of the Arctic. In an epic voyage across the territories belonging to Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, Wheeler marked a landscape that is at once the most pristine on earth and the site of mounting pollution—and the locus of global warming.
Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, shadowing the endless Trans-Alaska Pipeline with a tough Idaho-born outdoorswoman, herding reindeer with the Lapps, and visiting the haunting, deceptively peaceful lands of the Gulag, Wheeler has brought the Arctics many contradictions to life—and has positioned an urgent, beautiful book at the center of the most important debates of our age. Rich in dramatic description and vivid reporting, The Magnetic North has swiftly become an essential guide to a region that continues to grow daily in global importance.
About the Author
Sara Wheeler is the author of Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton, Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Evia: Travels on an Undiscovered Greek Island, Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile, and Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica. She lives in London.
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