In Antarctica: An Amundsen Pilgrimage

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Press: Nightwood; First Edition edition (April 5, 2013)
Author Name:Ruzesky, Jay


Jay Ruzesky recalls a childhood of snow caves, literary ambitions, and a fascination with polar exploration that was ignited by the genes he shares with famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. 
As a boy, Ruzesky was captivated by Amundsen's diaries: an Antarctic exploration aboard Belgica when Amundsen was a twenty-five-year-old mate bent on earning his stripes; his historic navigation of the Northwest Passage from 1903 to 1906 where he intentionally froze in with his ship Gjoa over the winters to drift with the pack ice; and his triumph onboard his ship Fram to be the first to reach the South Pole on December 14, 1911.Now a poet and teacher of English at a small university on Vancouver Island, Ruzesky became motivated by the approaching centennial of Amundsen's South Pole accomplishment to pursue his own quest to Antarctica--not only as a following of Amundsen's footsteps, but also a pilgrimage to a near-mythical place where heroes were made and died.
He books his voyage aboard a 71-metre ice-strengthened research vessel, Polar Pioneer, bound for Antarctica.Ruzesky skilfully interweaves three stories creatively extrapolated from Amundsen's experiences on both Belgica and Fram, and his own observations leading up to and during his voyage on Polar Pioneer.
In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin and with a poet's heart, Ruzesky offers a historically accurate tale while traversing both time and place--paralleling a century of explorers' dreams from Pole to Pole with stops in Canada, Norway, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Antarctica.
In Antarctica Book Trailer from Jay Ruzesky on Vimeo.

About the Author

Jay Ruzesky's fiction, poetry, and non-fiction has been published in Canada and internationally and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian. 
His previous books include Blue Himalayan Poppies, Painting the Yellow House Blue, and Am I Glad To See You.
His first novel, The Wolsenburg Clock, was shortlisted for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and a ReLit Award.
He has been on the editorial board of The Malahat Review for over twenty years and is co-founder of Outlaw Editions.
He teaches English, Film Studies, and Creative Writing at Vancouver Island University and lives on Vancouver Island.


Travel,Polar Regions,Antarctica,Sports & Outdoors,Winter Sports,Biographies & Memoirs,Travelers & Explorers

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Comment List (Total:2)

  •     "In Antarctica: An Amundsen Pilgrimage", made me want to book a trip to Antarctica right now. I loved the historical narrative of Amundsen interspersed with Jay's memories of his trip. I found myself on an introspective journey into my own lifelong dreams as I was reading and following the path of the arctic explorers. This book will make you want to find yourself and follow your deepest yearnings.
  •     This book was an absolute delight to read. It was a wonderful mix of historical fact and creative non-fiction writing to put the reader right in the thick of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen's adventures, along with the author's personal experiences of doing his version of present-day polar exploration. I've never considered the South Pole as someplace I would want to visit but Ruzesky's incredibly visual writing actually got me thinking about this still "pristine" part of our planet. For anyone who has ever considered following in the footsteps of their hero--whoever that might be--you will understand Ruzesky's fascination with discovering all he can first-hand about his ancestor, Amundsen. Ruzesky may consider himself a poet but his ability to write riveting creative non-fiction puts him at the top of my "must read" list.

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