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The Explorer's Daughter: A Young Englishwoman Rediscovers Her Arctic Childhood

Biography / MemoirOut of Print

By: Kari Herbert

368 pages, Illus

Viking Books

Hardback | Nov 2004 | #152272 | ISBN: 067091374X
Out of Print Details

About this book

At the age of ten months Kari Herbert was taken to the snowy wastes of the High Arctic by her mother Marie and her father, polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert, to live for two years among one of the last surviving tribes of traditional Polar Inuit hunters. Her first words were Inuktun - the Thule dialect of Greenlandic - her first friends the children of local hunters, and the pull of the place and its people lured the family back several times during her childhood. Then in 2002 she returned to the Arctic alone.

The Explorer's Daughter tells the story of Kari Herbert's return to this place of savage beauty, where her childhood friends and `family' still hunt with harpoon in skin kayaks in the summer, and drive dog teams for hundreds of miles in the four-month-long winter night; where she rediscovers a compelling world where light and darkness dominate life, and where her memories and new realities live a parallel existence. In her quest to understand her connection to this remote but deeply familiar environment, Kari Herbert encounters remnants of the past, tragedy and hope at the heart of this small remote community, and finds her friends torn between keeping their ancient traditions alive and submitting to the seductions of the modern world.

In a fascinating and compelling narrative that weaves in family memoir, myth, personal adventure and brilliant evocations of this extraordinary region of the world, The Explorer's Daughter is a unique and haunting story of the Arctic and of finding home.


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