This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

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Fourth Estate, Jul 1, 2008 - Greenland - 400 pages
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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. Gretel Ehrlich travels across this unearthly landscape in the company of indigenous Greenlanders ... 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. Her guide, her inspiration, her companion in spirit was the great Danish-Inuit explorer and ethnographer Knud Rasmussen. Between 1902 and his death in 1933 he launched seven expeditions: to record the unknown history and customs of the nomadic Eskimos; to chronicle the skills, beliefs, and crafts that made life in this climate possible and a matter of grace ... As she followed his trail, Ehrlich was to find the things that can open the mind to what is hidden from others. This Cold Heaven is at once a distillation of her many journeys, a path into a world divided into darkness and light and, finally, an attempt to capture the clarity that blinds us with surprise"--Publisher's description.

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This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

User Review  - Staff - Book Verdict

Readers wanting to spend more time on the icy surface of Greenland could do no better than selecting Ehrlich as their guide. A naturalist and essayist, she has spent years exploring the world's ... Read full review

This cold heaven: seven seasons in Greenland

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Ehrlich, whose work is shot through with an awe for nature, spent seven years visiting Greenland to try to understand how the Inuits survive their inhospitable home. ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Gretel Ehrlich is the author of many works of non-fiction, fiction and poetry, including A Match to the Heart (Fourth Estate 1995) The Solace of Open Spaces; Heart Mountain; and Islands, the Universe, Home. She divides her time between California and Wyoming.

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