Thursday, April 24, 2008

Top ten books about wilderness

At the age of 10, Sarah Anderson's arm was amputated as a result of cancer. She has gone on to write several travel books, including the newly released (in the U.K.) Halfway to Venus, which is "about life with one arm, about phantom and prosthetic limbs, about what hands and arms mean in different cultures and how they are portrayed in art and literature."

Anderson also founded the Travel Bookshop, the setting for the movie Notting Hill.

For the Guardian, she named her top ten books about wilderness. One book on her list:
The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin

I love the range of subjects that Mary Austin wrote about; her books and articles include fiction, autobiography, mysticism, Native American culture and mathematics - but it is of course her landscape and wilderness writing that particularly appeal to me. Austin is barely known in the UK but her writings about the desert in the south west of the United States, an area she calls the "Country of Lost Borders", are vivid and evocative and again prove that what at first can seem unwelcoming and unforgiving can actually be sustaining and life-giving. The desert is where she went to restore her sense of mystery.
Read more about Anderson's top ten list.

Read more about Halfway to Venus.

--Marshal Zeringue