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The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle by Sara Wheeler

The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle

Biography / Autobiography   

Sue Baker's view...

The Arctic Circle, past, present and future, the story of the people who survive there and the coming threats from industry and climate change. A personal journey, Sara Wheeler travels through all the Arctic territories revelling in their beauty and strangeness but also acutely aware of the dangers to come. Magnetic North is a compelling book, conveying both her love of the Polar Regions and their global importance.

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Who is Sue Baker


The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle by Sara Wheeler

Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, herding reindeer across the tundra with Lapps and shadowing the Trans-Alaskan pipeline with truckers, Sara Wheeler uncovers the beautiful, brutal reality of the Arctic. When she puts up her tent on the top of the Greenland ice sheet, she experiences climate change at the sharp (and cold) end. The Magnetic North is a spicy confection of history, science and reflection in which Wheeler meditates on the role of the Arctic in public and in private. The fragmented circumpolar lands were a repository of myth long before the scientists and oilmen showed up (not to mention desperado explorers who ate their own shoes), and the hinterland north of the tree line has fed literary imaginations from Dickens to Chekhov. The Magnetic North tells of all this, plus gulag ghosts, old and new Russia, colliding cultures and bioaccumulated toxins in polar bears. The unowned homogeneity of the Antarctic that enchanted the youthful author in the bestselling Terra Incognita finally finds a counterpart in the embattled polar lands at the other end of the earth. The complex and ambiguous Arctic, Wheeler writes, 'perfectly captures the elegiac melancholy of middle age'.

About the Author

Sara Wheeler is the author of four previous books. She lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st October 2009


Sara Wheeler

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Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage




Biography / Autobiography



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