A rich and revelatory memoir of a young woman reclaiming her courage in the stark landscapes of the north. By the time Blair Braverman was eighteen, she had left her home in California, moved to arctic Norway to learn to drive sled dogs, and found work as a tour guide on a glacier in Alaska. Determined to carve out a life as a “tough girl”—a young woman who confronts danger without apology—she slowly developed the strength and resilience the landscape demanded of her. By turns funny and sobering, bold and tender, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube brilliantly recounts Braverman’s adventures in Norway and Alaska. Settling into her new surroundings, Braverman was often terrified that she would lose control of her dog team and crash her sled, or be attacked by a polar bear, or get lost on the tundra. Above all, she worried that, unlike the other, gutsier people alongside her, she wasn’t cut out for life on the frontier. But no matter how out of place she felt, one thing was clear: she was hooked on the North. On the brink of adulthood, Braverman was determined to prove that her fears did not define her—and so she resolved to embrace the wilderness and make it her own. Assured, honest, and lyrical, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube paints a powerful portrait of self-reliance in the face of extraordinary circumstance. Braverman endures physical exhaustion, survives being buried alive in an ice cave, and drives her dogs through a whiteout blizzard to escape crooked police. Through it all, she grapples with love and violence—navigating a grievous relationship with a fellow musher, and adapting to the expectations of her Norwegian neighbors—as she negotiates the complex demands of being a young woman in a man’s land. Weaving fast-paced adventure writing and ethnographic journalism with elegantly wrought reflections on identity, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube captures the triumphs and the perils of Braverman’s journey to self-discovery and independence in a landscape that is as beautiful as it is unforgiving.
welcome to the goddamn ice cube
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The American Adrenaline Narrative considers the nature of perilous outdoor adventure tales, their gendered biases, and how they simultaneously promote and hinder ecological sustainability. To explore these themes, Kristin J. Jacobson defines and compares adrenaline narratives by a range of American authors published after the first Earth Day in 1970, a time frame selected as a watershed moment for the contemporary American environmental movement. The forty-plus years since that day also mark the rise in the popularity and marketing of many things as “extreme,” including sports, jobs, travel, beverages, gum, makeovers, laundry detergent, and even the environmental movement itself. Jacobson maps the American eco-imagination via adrenaline narratives, grounding them in the traditional literary practice of close reading analysis and in ecofeminism. She surveys a range of popular and lesser-known primary texts by American authors, including best-selling books, such as Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Aron Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and lesser-known texts, such as Patricia C. McCairen’s Canyon Solitude, Eddy L. Harris’s Mississippi Solo, and Stacy Allison’s Beyond the Limits. She also discusses such narratives as they appear in print and online articles and magazines, feature-length and short films, television shows, amateur videos, social networking site posts, fiction, advertising, and blogs. Jacobson contends that these stories constitute a distinctive genre because—unlike traditional nature, travel, and sports writing— adrenaline narratives sustain heightened risk or the element of the “extreme” within a natural setting. Additionally, these narratives provide important insight into the American environmental imagination’s connection to masculinity and adventure—knowledge that helps us grasp the current climate crisis and how narrative understanding provides a needed intervention.
This book is about memory, the power of memory, the weight of memory, the presence of memory. Its about how memory works, and its about how memory moves and shapes us, profoundly and deeply, every moment of every day. Most of all, however, its about how memory points us to some questions that, try as we might, we cannot elude altogether, questions that force us to confront the very nature of existence. Suppose that no one, no one at all, remembered us? Suppose that no one, no one at all, remembered the universe? How can we make sense of a world that one day will be utterly gone and forgotten? Memory makes us speak of things we may not want to accept or understand, thrusts us into things lying beyond what we can picture, imagine, or know. Twisting itself around our heart and burrowing into our soul, memory stretches us. It stretches us to ponder purpose, it stretches us to consider meaning. Memory forces us to think about how unbearably complex we, and this bewildering world, can be if nothing precedes or follows them. Memory opens our heart to God.
Guy and Laura Waterman spent a lifetime reflecting on and writing about the mountains of the Northeast. The Waterman Fund seeks to further their legacy of stewardship through an annual essay contest that celebrates and explores issues of wilderness, wildness, and humanity. Since 2008, the Waterman Fund has partnered with the journal Appalachia in seeking out new and emerging voices on these subjects, and in publishing the winning essay in the journal. Part of the contest's mission is to find and support such emerging writers, and a number of them have gone on to publish other work in Appalachia or their own books. The contest has succeeded admirably in fulfilling its mission: new writers have brought fresh perspectives to these timeless issues of wilderness and wildness. In New Wilderness Voices these winning essays are collected for the first time, along with the best runners-up. Together, they make up an important and celebratory addition to the growing body of environmental literature, and shed new light on our wild spaces.
A memoir of heartbreak, thousand-mile races, the endless Alaskan wilderness and many, many dogs from one of only a handful of women to have completed both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. In 2009, after a crippling divorce that left her heartbroken and directionless, Kristin decided to accept an offer to live at a friend's cabin outside of Denali National Park in Alaska for a few months. In exchange for housing, she would take care of her friend's eight sled dogs. That winter, she learned that she was tougher than she ever knew. She learned how to survive in one of the most remote places on earth and she learned she was strong enough to be alone. She fell in love twice: first with running sled dogs, and then with Andy, a gentle man who had himself moved to Alaska to heal a broken heart. Kristin and Andy married and started a sled dog kennel. While this work was enormously satisfying, Kristin became determined to complete the Iditarod -- the 1,000-mile dogsled race from Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast. THIS MUCH COUNTRY is the story of renewal and transformation. It's about journeying across a wild and unpredictable landscape and finding inner peace, courage and a true home. It's about pushing boundaries and overcoming paralyzing fears. "THIS MUCH COUNTRY is the next best thing to stepping on the runners of your own dogsled. A gorgeous, intimate story of wildness and belonging."--Blair Braverman, author of Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube
"Braver Than You Think is the life-affirming story of how Downs, newly married and established in her career as a journalist, quits her job, sells her belongings, and embarks on the solo trip of a lifetime: Her mother's. Over the course of one year backpacking through seventeen countries - visiting all the places her mother, struck with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, cannot visit herself - Maggie faces some of the world's most exotic locales while confronting the slow loss of her mother and the close bond they shared. Interweaving travelogue with memories of her family, Braver Than You Think takes the reader hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, whitewater rafting down the Nile, volunteering at a monkey sanctuary in Bolivia, praying at an ashram in India, and fleeing the Arab Spring in Egypt. By embarking on a global journey, Downs embraces what it means to make every moment count - traveling around the globe and home again, losing a parent while discovering the world"--
Murder erupts in Midbury, Montana, when a severe cold snap bringing temperatures forty degrees below zero, a series of ritual cattle killings, and ongoing strip-mine hearings set the town on edge
A stunning collection of short fiction from one of the most original voices in Canadian fiction.