A modern classic of Antarctic exploration, beautifully rejacketed to join The Magnetic North
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Published: 06 May 2010
Genre: Encyclopaedias & reference works
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.
Antarctica could hope for no better chronicler: spirited, humorous and highly intelligent, she is also a writer of rare talent
Penetrating, vivacious and often amusing, Wheeler's record has a sharp authenticity
She writes with a consistent wry wit... she never lacks empathy, compassion or generosity for people whose values, background and gender were the polar opposite of hers...What she has done could not be done better
Her book is an impressive achievement, one genuinely brushed by the ghosts of the past
Beryl Bainbridge, Literary Review
Terra Incognita deserves to be a bestseller...a wonderful book and terrific corrective to the polar bulldust periodically emitted by Sir Ralph Wotsisname and others of his ilk
Every phrase, every observation twitches with life; every colour seems her own. Forget Antarctica, the mind is a big place, too. I found myself falling for this writer's strong, incisive wisdom even more than the ice sheet and penguins
Julie Myerson, Mail on Sunday
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Sara Wheeler’s books include the international bestseller Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica, of which the Telegraph reviewer wrote, ‘I do not think there will ever be a better book on the Antarctic ...