Synopses & Reviews
Well into the nineteenth century Arctic explorers believed that they needed only to smash their ships through a ring of ice circling the top of the globe and from there they could tack easily on soft breezes to the North Pole. Acting on this belief, these adventurers were crushed by ice, wasted by scurvy, and frozen to death on the ice floes.This European notion of the Arctic as a ring surrounding a void not only lured countless sailors to their deaths but also had the effect of drowning out the voices and visions of the native Arctic people. Now this vibrant collection celebrates both the unheard voices of the Arctic peoples and the trail of words left by the Europeans who pushed forward to fill the hole in their knowledge of the world.Spanning the years from 1741 to the present, Ring of Ice presents many such works, including the story of Captain Tyson and his crew who, marooned by their own shipmates, were forced to float precariously on a tiny iceberg for five months before being rescued. And the tale of Duncan Pryde, a fur-trader employed by Hudson's Bay Company, who finds himself unwittingly caught up in the Inuit tradition of wife exchange.Juxtaposed with these European tales are stories of survival, skill, and daily life among the Eskimos, as told through dozens of native poems and legends as well as by some of today's most promising writers, including Finn Lynge and Rachel A. Qitsualik.Enriched by the writings of Richard K. Nelson, Gretel Ehrlich, Barry Lopez, Sir John Franklin, and classics such as Gontran de Poncins' Kabloona and Adolphus Greely's Three Years of Arctic Service, Ring of Ice is a comprehensive and altogether unique anthology representing the colorful history that pervades this monochromatic landscape. (61/4 X 91/4, 468 pages)
This collection of Arctic adventure stories--from writers such as Richard K. Nelson and Edward Abbey--covers the lives and expeditions of famed explorers as well native stories and legends that add another dimension to Western understanding of polar acquisition.