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Boundless
Cover of Boundless
Boundless
Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage
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From the author of Annabel: A "compulsively readable" journey through the Canadian arctic that "lay[s] bare the beauty of both the world and the soul" (Globe and Mail).

In 2010, Kathleen Winter embarked on a journey across the storied Northwest Passage, among marine scientists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and curious passengers. From Greenland to Baffin Island and beyond, Winter witnesses the new math of the North—where polar bears mates with grizzlies, creating a new hybrid species; where the earth is on the cusp of yielding so much buried treasure that five nations stand poised to claim sovereignty of the land; and where the local Inuit population struggles with taking part in the global economy while defending their traditional way of life.

Throughout Winter's journey, she learns from fellow passengers who teach her about Inuit society and history. She bonds with Nathan Rogers, son of the late Canadian icon Stan Rogers, who died in a plane crash when Nathan was just a young boy. Nathan's quest is to take the route his father never traveled, except in his beloved song "The Northwest Passage," which he performs both as anthem and lament. And Winter guides readers through her own personal odyssey, emigrating from England to Canada as a child and discovering what was lost—and gained—as a result of that journey.

In prose charged with vivid descriptions of the land and its people, Kathleen Winter's Boundless is "a profound and lyrical memoir of a transformative journey" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

From the author of Annabel: A "compulsively readable" journey through the Canadian arctic that "lay[s] bare the beauty of both the world and the soul" (Globe and Mail).

In 2010, Kathleen Winter embarked on a journey across the storied Northwest Passage, among marine scientists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and curious passengers. From Greenland to Baffin Island and beyond, Winter witnesses the new math of the North—where polar bears mates with grizzlies, creating a new hybrid species; where the earth is on the cusp of yielding so much buried treasure that five nations stand poised to claim sovereignty of the land; and where the local Inuit population struggles with taking part in the global economy while defending their traditional way of life.

Throughout Winter's journey, she learns from fellow passengers who teach her about Inuit society and history. She bonds with Nathan Rogers, son of the late Canadian icon Stan Rogers, who died in a plane crash when Nathan was just a young boy. Nathan's quest is to take the route his father never traveled, except in his beloved song "The Northwest Passage," which he performs both as anthem and lament. And Winter guides readers through her own personal odyssey, emigrating from England to Canada as a child and discovering what was lost—and gained—as a result of that journey.

In prose charged with vivid descriptions of the land and its people, Kathleen Winter's Boundless is "a profound and lyrical memoir of a transformative journey" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

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About the Author-
  • Kathleen Winter is the author of the bestselling novel Annabel, which won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Awards and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and CBC Canada Reads. A long-time resident of Newfoundland, she now lives in Montreal.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 2, 2015
    Winter's profound and lyrical memoir of a transformative journey, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, begins with a surprising coincidence. A week after taking a friend's advice to always to have a travel bag packed, Winter (Annabel) is offered a place on a ship going through the Northwest Passage. She travels from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where the ship begins its journey north through the Davis Strait. At sea, Winter realizes that "there is no line or corner in a wave, no way for cares of the world to hook or snag you." The book is a series of evocative stories centered on Winter's memories, fellow passengers, experiences on the trip, and the subjugation of aboriginal culture by Europeans; through them all, Winter expresses a sense of wonder that she is in "a hiding place of mysteries." At many of the stops, the group walks, encountering the land and wildlife. On each successive walk, Winter increasingly comes to believe that the land can speak to her, and that she can listen and hear with a new sense beyond the usual five. Of all the kindred spirits Winter meets on this extraordinary journey, she writes most powerfully of the land. Agent: Shaun Bradley, Transatlantic Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 15, 2015
    Literate, luminous travels in the far north. "Why read The Wind in the Willows when you can be Ratty or Mole?" It's not quite on the order of "because it is there," but it's a good enough rationale for adventure and a fine note on which to begin. British-Canadian novelist and essayist Winter (Annabel, 2010) confesses to having harbored desires to wander in the great white north since landing in Newfoundland with her father. He longed for something that we might call freedom, writes the author, whereas what she was looking for was even less tangible: "a glimmering, a beckoning; something in the ice, something promising in the Arctic light." Going to places that are well away from any tourist track and even the paths of most outdoor thrill-seekers, Winter finds that beckoning in such things as revelations about the differences between Greenlandic and Canadian Eskimos and the glimmering behind the eyes of people zapped by the endless light and space of the circumpolar vastness. Sometimes Winter's exercises in self-awareness verge on overly New Age-y ("I walked, ran, and wept in those trails in the woods, asking sky, alders, and water to talk to me, to bring me back that hint of something majestic and all-encompassing"). But more often, Winter finds just the right note of learned wonder, taking on big philosophical questions as she roams across the land: when a geologist makes a map, does he or she kill the place being mapped before the first drill is sunk? Is it possible to live apart from and independent of the land, even in a place like New York City? Is a life without contradiction worth living? With the eye of a poet and the stamina of an Amundsen, Winter proves a delightful guide into unexplored realms. Worthy of shelving alongside Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams (1986).

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • New York Times Book Review "The vessel's tight quarters give Winter plenty of room to observe her companions, and the result is an intriguing chronicle of a journey through the Northwest Passage ... her ability to toggle between nature writing and personal reflection will keep readers following in her wake."
  • Publisher's Weekly Starred Review "[A] profound and lyrical memoir of a transformative journey ... Of all the kindred spirits Winter meets on this extraordinary journey, she writes most powerfully of the land."
  • Booklist, Starred Review “Perceptive and thoughtful, Winter's ruminations on Arctic life and its continuous clashes with modern civilization are compelling and thought-provoking. The north is a place rarely visited and little understood, but it looms ever larger in our collective future, and to ignore it and its people would be an act of global arrogance."
  • Kirkus Starred Review "Literate, luminous travels in the far north....Winter finds just the right note of learned wonder....With the eye of a poet and the stamina of an Amundsen, Winter proves a delightful guide into unexplored realms. Worthy of shelving alongside Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams"
  • Outside Magazine "A richly detailed account of the author's voyages across Greenland, examining historic disputes and modern-day conflicts taking place at the top of the world."
  • Globe and Mail “Compulsively readable... it both heightens life and plumbs its deepest mysteries, laying bare the beauty of both the world and the soul."
  • Quill and Quire “Ultimately, the journey that Kathleen Winter takes on a last-minute whim is transformative. Her precise and vivid prose allows the reader to share in that transformation. For the many readers who admired Annabel and want to get to know its author better, Boundless is a tremendous gift."
  • The Toronto Star “...[G]raceful, poetic, and shimmering prose..."
  • The New Yorker “Kathleen Winter's lyrical voice and her crystalline landscape are enchanting."
  • Kirkus, Starred Review “Winter possesses a rare blend of lyrical brilliance, descriptive power, and psychological and philosophical insight."
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Boundless
Boundless
Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage
Kathleen Winter
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