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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?
“A genre-defying mix of travel writing, scientific fact, poetry and outrage. . . . The book could hardly be more timely or more powerful.” —The Seattle Times
“[Ehrlich] has more words for snow than the Eskimos. . . . So much lyrical power that you’ll be dreading spring.” —People Magazine
“Ehrlich is a writer as weathered as the season she chases. . . . And the blustery scenery provides beautiful metaphors for the storms inside her head. . . .The book howls.” —Outside
“What is striking about this intimate lament is Gretel Ehrlich’s eloquent use of language to communicate dire facts. . . . [She] conveys the horror with a beauty that makes it hard to turn away. . . . Never preachy, she is instead poetic.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“A powerful book by one of the West’s foremost writers on the natural world. . . . An accessible, poetic and urgent frontline report from frigid, yet vibrant territories and ice-laden ocean waters that few of us have visited. . . . Ehrlich painstakingly observes what most others scarcely notice.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“A lament born of facts. . . . Ehrlich paints the moods, landscapes, and lives of sentient beings in some of the most timeless spaces on the planet.” —The Bloomsbury Review
“Objective fact and subjective experience are woven together with lyrical descriptions of place, scientific information and spiritual reflection. . . . Ehrlich gives us a reason to celebrate the beauty of winter and to act to save it.” —E, the Environmental Magazine
“An intimate book that’s part celebration of, part lament for and part meditation on cold. . . . The result will inspire, anger and frighten you.” —Santa Barbara News-Press