This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

Front Cover
Fourth Estate, Jan 1, 2008 - Greenland - 400 pages
29 Reviews
In an unforgettable tribute to the far latitudes, Gretel Ehrlich travels across Greenland, the largest island on earth. Greenland is the largest island on earth. All but five percent of it 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; entranced shamans make soul fights under the ice. The modern population lives on the edge of a stone- and ice-age world and has reached a unique understanding of it. 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. She learns about hunting and endurance, inuit languages, legends and ghosts. Conjuring up Greenland's cruel, beautiful landscape, she shows that it is a land endowed with magical and mysterious properties. St Brendan, the sixth century Irish monk, described one of its huge glaciers as 'a floating crystal castle the colour of a silver veil, yet hard as marble and the sea around it as smooth as glass and white as milk.' It has lost none of its power to enthral.

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Beautiful writing, compelling subject. - Goodreads
Lyrical, poetic prose and plenty of sled dogs. - Goodreads
The writing is beautiful as well as the subject matter. - Goodreads

Review: This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

User Review  - Robin - Goodreads

I am so glad to have read this book - and to have learned much about Greenland and its inhabitants. The book might have been better with fewer metaphors, fewer excerpts from others' writings, and more ... Read full review

Review: This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

User Review  - Always Pink - Goodreads

"The dogs dug into the new ice with their claws, carving their calligraphic signs of passage. If I could read their script, what would it say? "North. Hungry. Meat. Happy to be going anywhere." (p ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Gretel Ehrlich is the author of "A Match to the Heart" among other works of nonfiction, fiction & poetry. She divides her time between California & Wyoming.

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