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

Kari Herbert
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Nov 2004
For the first two years of her life Kari Herbert lived with her mother and father, the explorer Sir Wally Herbert, among the Inuit people in the vast snowy wastes of the High Arctic. Her first words were Inuktun, her first friends the children of 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. She met her childhood friends again, remembered the exhilaration of sledging with dogs across the ice and remembered the language and faces of her early years. She also encountered alarming changes: the uneasy coexistence of modern life and ancient traditions, and of the hopes and tragedy at the heart of this extraordinary and yet deeply familiar community. The Explorer's Daughter tells the story of Kari Herbert's return to this place of family memories and of savage beauty, where her friends still hunt and eat whale meat; and where she rediscovers a compelling world where light and darkness dominate life, and where her memories and new realities live a parallel existence. In a compelling narrative that weaves in family memoir, 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 home.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 2004 First Edition edition (4 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067091374X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670913749
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kari Herbert first started travelling at the age of ten months when her father, pioneering explorer Sir Wally Herbert, took Kari and her mother to live among the Polar Inuit on a remote island off the coast of Greenland.

As an author and photographer, her work has been published in magazines and newspapers all over the world, including the Sunday Times, the Independent, and the Guardian. Her first book, 'The Explorer's Daughter' was chosen as Book of the Week by BBC Radio 4. It has since been translated into Danish, Dutch, Italian, and Polish.

Her most recent books include 'In Search of the South Pole' and 'Polar Wives'. Kari is the founding director of Polarworld, an indie publishing company. She lives in Cornwall, England.

Product Description

Review

‘Herbert applies a photographer’s eye and an eloquent pen to the beauty of the Arctic landscape’ -- Daily Telegraph, December 14, 2004

‘It is an impressive book, slow-cooked and richly imagined.’ -- The Independent, November 15, 2004

‘[Kari Herbert] paints a vivid portrait… a visceral emotion sets it apart from the standard anthropological tract.’ -- Literary Review, November 1, 2004

‘utterly compelling' -- Geographical Magazine, December 2004

‘…compelling and instructive. Kari Herbert’s descriptions are frequently lyrical, tersely poetic, never maudlin... an accessible delight.’ -- Scotland on Sunday, November 28, 2004

From the Inside Flap

I was greeted at the summer camp by the smell of death and the gruesome aftermath of a massacre. The scent of the hunt hung heavy and warm on the bitter wind. Two narwhal had been caught and were semi-dissected on the beach. The air was shattered with the shrieks of birds fighting over floating chunks of blubber and fat, and sculptures of meat-clothed vertebrae created a macabre outdoor exhibition. Streams of blood seeped into the crimson-stained waters of the fjord. Beyond the gore, a couple of tiny boxes no bigger than garden sheds stood apologetically on the beach, with the smaller of the two pinioned to the ground with guy ropes to prevent it from scurrying away. This was to be our home.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spellbinding Rediscovery 23 Feb 2006
Format:Paperback
Kari Herbert’s parents aren’t exactly run of the mill. Her father, Sir Wally Herbert is a famous Polar explorer and her mother Marie, an accomplished author.
When she was just ten months old Sir Wally took his young family to live in the High Arctic amongst the remote tribes of Polar Inuit hunters. Kari’s first words were in Inuktun and her small family quickly grew to include an Inuit Grandfather, Aunts, Uncles and many local brothers and sisters. Kari grew up practicing the ways of the Inuit, understanding the fine balance between man and nature and believing that she too belonged to this desolate, but beautiful land. In 2002, after years of residing in London as a successful photographer and travel writer, Kari returned to the Arctic in an attempt to understand her roots, trace her Inuit family and quell the calling of the ice.
This tale of rediscovery is as painful as it is magical as Herbert encounters a people torn between their ancient traditions and the seductions of the modern world. Her last wilderness now contaminated by alcohol, pop music and pre-fabricated housing. Herbert’s absorbing narrative interlaces a perfect balance between historical reference, mystical legend, tragedy and personal adventure to create a spellbinding and addictive read. An exploration of the soul!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly fantastic read 6 Jan 2006
Format:Hardcover
Herbert takes us through an emotional return to the indigenous
people of her childhood. Not just a personal memoire, but an eye opening insight to the human condition of an ancient society struggling in the wake of the West. A truly fantastic read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Spellbinding Rediscovery 11 Jan 2006
Format:Hardcover
Kari Herbert’s parents aren’t exactly run of the mill. Her father, Sir Wally Herbert is a famous Polar explorer and her mother Marie, an accomplished author.
When she was just ten months old Sir Wally took his young family to live in the High Arctic amongst the remote tribes of Polar Inuit hunters. Kari’s first words were in Inuktun and her small family quickly grew to include an Inuit Grandfather, Aunts, Uncles and many local brothers and sisters. Kari grew up practicing the ways of the Inuit, understanding the fine balance between man and nature and believing that she too belonged to this desolate, but beautiful land. In 2002, after years of residing in London as a successful photographer and travel writer, Kari returned to the Arctic in an attempt to understand her roots, trace her Inuit family and quell the calling of the ice.
This tale of rediscovery is as painful as it is magical as Herbert encounters a people torn between their ancient traditions and the seductions of the modern world. Her last wilderness now contaminated by alcohol, pop music and pre-fabricated housing. Herbert’s absorbing narrative interlaces a perfect balance between historical reference, mystical legend, tragedy and personal adventure to create a spellbinding and addictive read. An exploration of the soul!
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