the literature of Antarctica and the Arctic

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    Hello, all –

    I’m working on an essay for a literary / general interest magazine about the literature of Antarctica and the Arctic – and I was wondering if I could solicit a couple pieces of information from this group.

    One: what’s your favorite Antarctic / Arctic travel book? (Could be anything from older, first-hand expedition accounts, like Shackleton’s South, to more recent, meditative travel books, like Sara Wheeler’s Terra Incognita.)

    Two: what initially drew you to be interested in the polar regions?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback I receive. This will really help make my essay that much more interesting and engaging.

    All the best,



    After you have been down on the ice, try reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s  “Antarctica”. He was a science fiction writer that got a writer’s grant to go to McM. The NSF dolls out a couple a year to artists and writers to help them get the “feel” of the place. His takes place in the near future after the expiration of the Antarctic  Treaty. It is full of McM tidbits and will bring you back as you read it.
    As to the rest. You get slammed from all sides with Antarctic History once you are down there. Visiting the old huts is more awe inspiring than reading the books. It’s one of those things where you have to be there to understand.


    Hi, Hunter:
    Be sure to read South, though if you do it once you’re there or even after you’ve been there it will feel very real to you.
    As for part two: It’s one of the last pure places on earth and one few people will ever experience, let alone get paid to do it.
    Good luck,
    – brien

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