Monday, November 28, 2016

What is David Welky reading?

Featured at Writers Read: David Welky, author of A Wretched and Precarious Situation: In Search of the Last Arctic Frontier.

His entry begins:
Having a family and a full-time teaching job – both of which I’m grateful for – leaves me with precious little time for discretionary reading. Most books I read are related to my current writing project. When I do reach beyond my field, my choices tend to be eclectic. I not only enjoy history and biography, but also books about biology, geology, and astrophysics written for general readers.

But a trend is evident in my recent reading. Events over the past several months have left me thinking deeply about race in America, and much of my “outside reading” has focused on that fascinating and thorny subject.

By now, most readers have heard of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s National Book Award-winning Between the World and Me, the author’s spellbinding message to his son. There’s not much point in adding another handclap to the thunderous applause Coates has already received, but I will say that I found his writing utterly devastating, and was particularly struck by the way in which he made the fragility of the black body central to the African-American experience. Between the World and Me is the kind of book you...[read on]
About A Wretched and Precarious Situation, from the publisher:
A remarkable true story of adventure, betrayal, and survival set in one of the world’s most inhospitable places.

In 1906, from atop a snow-swept hill in the ice fields northwest of Greenland, hundreds of miles from another human being, Commander Robert E. Peary spotted a line of mysterious peaks looming in the distance. He called this unexplored realm “Crocker Land.” Scientists and explorers agreed that the world-famous explorer had discovered a new continent rising from the frozen Arctic Ocean.

Several years later, two of Peary’s disciples, George Borup and Donald MacMillan, assembled a team of amateur adventurers to investigate Crocker Land. Before them lay a chance at the kind of lasting fame enjoyed by Magellan, Columbus, and Captain Cook. While filling in the last blank space on the globe, they might find new species of plants or animals, or even men; in the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, anything seemed possible. Renowned scientific institutions, and even former president Theodore Roosevelt, rushed to endorse the expedition.

What followed was a sequence of events that none of the explorers could have imagined. Trapped in a true-life adventure story, the men endured howling blizzards, unearthly cold, food shortages, isolation, a fatal boating accident, a drunken sea captain, disease, dissension, and a horrific crime. But the team pushed on through every obstacle, driven forward by the mystery of Crocker Land and faint hopes that they someday would make it home.

Populated with a cast of memorable characters, and based on years of research in previously untapped sources, A Wretched and Precarious Situation is a harrowing Arctic narrative unlike any other.
The Page 99 Test: The Thousand-Year Flood.

My Book, The Movie: A Wretched and Precarious Situation.

Writers Read: David Welky.

--Marshal Zeringue