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RECOMMENDED READING

 

If it's tales of derring-do and the excitement of a Boy's Own Adventure that you're looking for, Across Arctic America, by Knud Rasmussen, The Friendly Arctic, by Vilhjalmar Stefansson, or Arctic Adventure, by Peter Freuchen, will do the trick. They're all books about men doing macho things in subzero temperatures.The Noose of Laurels, by Wally Herbert, is what you get when these men start bickering about who did what first, and who's gonna do what next. Herbert referees as Robert Peary and Dr Frederick Cook take it outside over who was the first to reach the Pole.Ever wanted to drive to Greenland in a VW minibus? Doesn't everyone? Then read Peter Stark's Driving to Greenland. This guy ski jumps, runs the luge and does anything that involves snow, ice, physical exercise and Kombis.If brevity is the soul of wit then Ice, by Tristan Jones, must be an Oscar Wilde of a book. Jones entertains as he sails up the Greenland coast.A book with cultish standing is Tete-Michele Kpomassie's An African in Greenland. The premise is that the Togolese and the Inuit share many things in common, although a latitude and an average yearly temperature are not two of them.The best known Greenlander novel is Peter H√łeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow. Ostensibly a generic murder-mystery story, the novel unravels some of the complexities of the Inuit culture, their marginalisation in society and their nuanced understanding of snow - an allegory for the deep and abiding attachment that the Inuit have for the land.Jane Smiley's novel, The Greenlanders, is information sugar-coated with fiction. The trials and tribulations of one Norse family, living in the fourteenth century, is retold with an eye for the details of the everyday.





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