This book was written out of Gretel Ehrlich's love for winter-for remote and cold places, for the ways winter frees our imagination and invigorates our feet, mind, and soul-and also out of the fear that our "democracy of gratification" has irreparably altered the climate. Over the course of a year, Ehrlich experiences firsthand the myriad ...
This book was written out of Gretel Ehrlich's love for winter-for remote and cold places, for the ways winter frees our imagination and invigorates our feet, mind, and soul-and also out of the fear that our "democracy of gratification" has irreparably altered the climate. Over the course of a year, Ehrlich experiences firsthand the myriad expressions of cold, giving us marvelous histories of wind, water, snow, and ice, of ocean currents and weather cycles. From Tierra del Fuego in the south to Spitsbergen, east of Greenland, at the very top of the world, she explores how our very consciousness is animated and enlivened by the archaic rhythms and erupting oscillations of weather. We share Ehrlich's experience of the thrills of cold, but also her questions: What will happen to us if we are "deseasoned"? If winter ends, will we survive?
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-10-04 In this lyrical meditation on deep cold and its potential demise through global warming, Ehrlich (The Solace of Open Spaces; This Cold Heaven) backpacks among the glaciers of the southern Andes, winters in a Wyoming cabin and sails with the research ship Noorderlicht to the Greenland ice pack. Her prose is as sharply observed as poetry and nearly as compressed, and her narrative favors short scenes as fragmented as the breaking ice sheets she encounters. Though it occasionally dips into underpowered assertion ("We're spoiled because we've been living in an interglacial paradise for twenty thousand years"), it often soars to the sublime ("We are made of weather and our thoughts stream from the braid work of stillness and storms"). Ehrlich includes plenty of facts (the area covered by glaciers has diminished by 75% since 1850; increased meltwater from Greenland may actually make Europe colder), but her book is less about science than about sensation: loneliness and the relentless circling of the snowed-in mind; the rumbling of a glacier as its azure ice crumbles away; the whistling, ululating calls of the bearded seal. It does not lay out the workings of global warming nor attempt to provide blueprints for how to rescue what we are losing. It stands, instead, as a passionate elegy to what is melting away. Agent, Liz Darhansoff at Darhansoff, Verrill & Feldman. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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