After writing two highly praised travel books, Sara Wheeler was accepted by the American government to be the first foreigner on their National Science Foundation's Antarctic Artists' and Writers Program. She spent seven months on the continent, travelling from the fabled Ross Ice Shelf to the Pole itself, the remoter reaches of the West Antarctic ice sheet, and the balmy Antarctic Peninsula. Terra Incognita is a meditation on the landscape, myths and history of one of the remotest parts of the globe, as well as an encounter with the international temporary residents of the region - living in close confinement despite the surrounding acres of white space - and the mechanics of day-to-day life in extraordinary conditions. Through Sara Wheeler, the Antarctic is revealed, in all its seductive mystery.
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When explorers such as Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, and Robert Falcon Scott all set off to Antarctica in the early years of the 20th century, the polar regions were among the last truly unexplored areas of the world--and arguably the least hospitable. Scott lost his life, pinned down in a howling blizzard only 11 miles from his supply depot; Shackleton lost his ship, crushed in the ice. Even those who survived the icy wastes did so only with enormous effort. And yet, there is something about Antarctica that beckons people; eighty years after Shackleton's voyage, Sara Wheeler answered the call, leaving her comfortable home for "the Great White." Terra Incognita is the result of her sojourn in that legendary land.
In addition to chronicling her own encounters with the people and the place, Wheeler brings the past alive as well, through vivid stories about the heroes of polar exploration: Shackleton, Scott, Amundsen, and others who practically become secondary characters in Wheeler's account. But it is her interactions with the living people who make up the community--scientists, drifters, and dreamers who have settled this forbidding landscape--that make Terra Incognita a rare and worthy book.From the Inside Flap:
It is the coldest, windiest, driest place on earth, an icy desert of unearthly beauty and stubborn impenetrability. For centuries, Antarctica has captured the imagination of our greatest scientists and explorers, lingering in the spirit long after their return. Shackleton called it "the last great journey"; for Apsley Cherry-Garrard it was the worst journey in the world.
This is a book about the call of the wild and the response of the spirit to a country that exists perhaps most vividly in the mind. Sara Wheeler spent seven months in Antarctica, living with its scientists and dreamers. No book is more true to the spirit of that continent--beguiling, enchanted and vast beyond the furthest reaches of our imagination. Chosen by Beryl Bainbridge and John Major as one of the best books of the year, recommended by the editors of Entertainment Weekly and the Chicago Tribune, one of the Seattle Times's top ten travel books of the year, Terra Incognita is a classic of polar literature.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Book Description 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 23mm. Paperback. After writing two highly praised travel books, Sara Wheeler was invited by the American government to be the 1994 'Writer in Residence at the US South Pole Station'. She spent six weeks at.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 0.231. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099731818
Book Description Random House, 1997. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # F4-9780099731818
Book Description 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 23mm. Paperback. After writing two highly praised travel books, Sara Wheeler was invited by the American government to be the 1994 'Writer in Residence at the US South Pole Station'. She spent.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 0.231. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099731818