‘A wonderful book: Nancy Campbell is a fine storyteller with a rare physical intelligence. The extraordinary brilliance of her eye confers the reader a total immersion in the rimy realms she explores. Glaciers, Arctic floe, verglas, frost and snow — I can think of no better or warmer guide to the icy ends of the Earth’ Dan Richards, author of Climbing Days A vivid and perceptive book combining memoir, scientific and cultural history with a bewitching account of landscape and place, which will appeal to readers of Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin and Olivia Laing.
Long captivated by the solid yet impermanent nature of ice, by its stark, rugged beauty, acclaimed poet and writer Nancy Campbell sets out from the world’s northernmost museum – at Upernavik in Greenland – to explore it in all its facets. From the Bodleian Library archives to the traces left by the great polar expeditions, from remote Arctic settlements to the ice houses of Calcutta, she examines the impact of ice on our lives at a time when it is itself under threat from climate change.
The Library of Ice is a fascinating and beautifully rendered evocation of the interplay of people and their environment on a fragile planet, and of a writer’s quest to define the value of her work in a disappearing landscape.
‘The Library of Ice instantly transported me elsewhere... This luminous book is both beautifully written and astute in its observations, turning the pages of time backwards and revealing, like the archive of the earth’s climate stored in layers of solidified water, the embedded meanings of the world’s icy realms. It is a book as urgently relevant as it is wondrous’ Julian Hoffman, author of The Heart of Small Things
‘An extraordinary work not only for the perspicacity and innate experience of the author who leads the reader carefully across intertwined icy tracks of crystallised geographics, melting myths and frozen exploration histories, but through her own tender diagnostics of what reading ice can show us in these times … Perilous in its scope, exacting in its observation, wild in intellect, The Library of Ice captures the reader’s attention almost as if caught in ice itself’ Kirsten Macgillivray, poet
‘This is travel writing to be treasured. A biography of ice, the element that has another life, with hard facts thawed and warmed by a poet's voice. Campbell's writing is companionable, curious, deeply researched and with no bragging about the intrepidity that has taken her between winter-dark Greenland, Polar libaries, Scottish curling rinks, Alpine glaciers and Henry Thoreau's pond at Walden’ Jasper Winn, author of Paddle
Nancy Campbell is an award-winning writer, described as 'a deft, dangerous and dazzling new poet' by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Her previous book on the polar environment, Disko Bay, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2016. A former magazine editor, she contributes to the Times Literary Supplement, Royal Academy Magazine and other journals. She has been a Marie Claire 'Wonder Woman', a Hawthornden Fellow and Visual and Performing Artist in Residence at Oxford University. She lives in Oxford.