What Is Elizabeth Rush Reading? : Books on Antarctic Adventure, Ice, Motherhood

Map of Roald Amundsen's and Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole expedition routes; lithograph, 1925. (GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)

Dear Reader,

Take a listen to my recent conversation with Elizabeth Rush, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shoreabout what she’s been reading — the first in a series of talks I’ll be having with authors about what books they’re into lately!

Elizabeth is currently serving as the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artist and Writer, and just a few weeks before we spoke, she returned from a 55-day scientific cruise to the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica. We spoke about polar adventures, ice, motherhood; how specific narrative structures and expectations can become attached to certain places over time; and how looking to different written forms, like poetry, can help us see beyond those narrative restrictions when telling important new stories, like the story of the climate crisis. Below is a list of all the books that Elizabeth brought up during our conversation.

Ernest Shackleton, South
Ursula K. Le Guin, “Sur,” collected in The Real and the Unreal
Sheila Heti, Motherhood
Angela Garbes, Like a Mother
Meaghan O’Connell, And Now We Have Everything (Read an excerpt on Longreads)
Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions
Ross Gay, The Book of Delights
Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement
Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic
Jane Alison, Meander, Spiral, Explode
Kathleen Jamie, Surfacing
Craig Childs, Virga & Bone
Sarah Wheeler, Terra Incognita

Happy reading!

Dana Snitzky
Books Editor
@danasnitzky


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