"For a book project about 16th-century polar explorer William Barents, Andrea Pitzer needed to reach the remote Arctic island where he and his men came to grief. She booked passage on an expeditionary boat out of Murmansk, then headed north on a trip marked by unforgettable scenery, unexpected loss, and wild magic that changed her life."
"I'm heading to the Arctic thinking about death.
Lying facedown in the top bunk of an overnight train inching from Saint Petersburg toward the Russian port city of Murmansk, I have a berth waiting for me on an August expedition sailing north.
I’m working on a book about Arctic explorers, and that means swimming in a sea of sorrow. In my train compartment, dead adventurers haunt me: Faithful sled dogs eaten by humans or swallowed by chasms in the ice. Sailors devoured by polar bears or their own shipmates. Even when no animals or people are stalking them, polar explorers have a tendency to starve or freeze or succumb to disease."