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Gretel Ehrlich travels across the largest island on Earth, in the company of men and women who have a deep bond with it. She discovers the realm of the great dark, ice pavilions, polar bears and Eskimo nomads.
In a tribute to the far latitudes, Gretel Ehrlich travels across Greenland, the largest island on earth. All but five per cent of the island is covered by a vast ice sheet, an enduring remnant of the last ice age. Despite a uniquely hostile environment, it has been inhabited continuously for thousands of years. Greenlanders retain many of their traditional practices: some still hunt on sleds made from whale and caribou with packs of dogs; others fashion harpoons from Narwhal tusks; and entranced shamans make soul fights under the ice. Ehrlich mixes stories of European anthropologists who have recorded the ways of the Inuit, with artists who have lived briefly on Greenland's fringe in order to try to capture its extraordinary pure light. She travels across this unearthly landscape in the company of men and women who have a deep bond with it, and with them she discovers the realm of the Great Dark, ice pavilions, polar bears and Eskimo nomads.
In this travelogue, Ehrlich combines the story of her travels with history and cultural anthropology to reveal a Greenland that few of us could otherwise imagine. She unlocks the secrets of this severe land and those who live there; a hardy people who still travel by dogsled and kayak and prefer the mystical four months a year of endless darkness to the gentler summers without night. She discovers the twenty-three words the Inuit have for ice, befriends a polar bear hunter, and comes to agree with the great Danish-Inuit explorer Knud Rasmussen that "all true wisdom is only to be found far from the dwellings of man, in great solitudes." This Cold Heaven is at once a thrilling adventure story and a meditation on the clarity of life at the extreme edge of the world. -- Publisher's description.
Ten essays on nature, ritual, and philosophy “that are so point-blank vital you nearly need to put the book down to settle yourself” (San Francisco Chronicle). Gretel Ehrlich’s world is one of solitude and wonder, pain and beauty, and these elements give life to her stunning prose. Ever since her acclaimed debut, The Solace of Open Spaces, she has illuminated the particular qualities of nature and the self with graceful precision. In Islands, the Universe, Home, Ehrlich expands her explorations, traveling to the remote reaches of the earth and deep into her soul. She tells of a voyage of discovery in northern Japan, where she finds her “bridge to heaven.” She captures a “light moving down a mountain slope.” She sees a ruined city in the face of a fire-scarred mountain. Above all, she recalls what a painter once told her about art when she was twelve years old, as she sat for her portrait: “You have to mix death into everything. Then you have to mix life into that.” In this unforgettable collection, Ehrlich mixes life and death, real and sacred, to offer a stunning vision of our world that is both achingly familiar and miraculously strange. According to National Book Award–winning author Andrea Barrett, these essays are “as spare and beautiful as the landscape from which they’ve grown. . . . Each one is a pilgrimage into the secrets of the heart.”
Author : Gretel Ehrlich
ISBN : 9781504042888
Genre : Nature
File Size : 59.31 MB
Format : PDF
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These transcendent, lyrical essays on the West announced Gretel Ehrlich as a major American writer—“Wyoming has found its Whitman” (Annie Dillard). Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn’t leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on “the planet of Wyoming,” a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life. Ehrlich captures both the otherworldly beauty and cruelty of the natural forces—the harsh wind, bitter cold, and swiftly changing seasons—in the remote reaches of the American West. She brings depth, tenderness, and humor to her portraits of the peculiar souls who also call it home: hermits and ranchers, rodeo cowboys and schoolteachers, dreamers and realists. Together, these essays form an evocative and vibrant tribute to the life Ehrlich chose and the geography she loves. Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, The Solace of Open Spaces is raw, meditative, electrifying, and uncommonly wise. In prose “as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning,” Ehrlich explores the magical interplay between our interior lives and the world around us (Newsday).
Author : Tété-Michel Kpomassie
ISBN : 0940322889
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 35.19 MB
Format : PDF
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A native of Africa, the author recounts how a picture book about Greenland inspired him to embark on a life-changing journey that would last for ten years, leading him to the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mauritania, Paris, Copenhagen, and, ultimately, to Greenland. Translated from French. Photos.
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? From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Haunting pilgrimage to one of China's holy mountains "Ehrlich . . . writes with tremendous grace and passion." --Miles Harvey, Outside "In spare, lyrical prose, Ehrlich inventively recounts her 1995 spiritual trip to China and Tibet. . . . Like one of the landscape paintings of which she writes, Ehrlich's book is at once delicate, deeply considered and moving." --Publishers Weekly, starred review "Ehrlich's highly personal travelogue centers on her attempt to find what remains of [the] once-flourishing spiritual culture in the sacred mountains of western China. . . . [Ehrlich] intersperses her personal narrative with bits of the intellectual, political, historical and spiritual." --Alexandra Hall, The New York Times Book Review "If Questions of Heaven has a message, it may reside in the author's belief in a bond across geography and generations, one transcending space and time." --David L. Ulin, The Village Voice "This is travel writing at its best." --Glenn Masuchika, Library Journal
Author : Gretel Ehrlich
ISBN : 144062108X
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 65.48 MB
Format : PDF
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A powerful chronicle of a wounded woman’s exploration of nature and self After nature writer Gretel Ehrlich was struck by lightning near her Wyoming ranch and almost died, she embarked on a painstaking and visionary journey back to the land of the living. With the help of an extraordinary cardiologist and the companionship of her beloved dog Sam, she avidly explores the natural and spiritual world to make sense of what happened to her. We follow as she combs every inch of her new home on the California coast, attends a convention of lightning-strike victims, and goes on a seal watch in Alaska. Ehrlich then turns her focus inward, exploring the tiny but equally fascinating ecosystem of the human heart, and culminated in a stunningly beautiful description of open-heart surgery.