Winner of the National Book Award
This bestselling, groundbreaking exploration of the Far North is a classic of natural history, anthropology, and travel writing.
The Arctic is a perilous place. Only a few species of wild animals can survive its harsh climate. In this modern classic, Barry Lopez explores the many-faceted wonders of the Far North: its strangely stunted forest, its mesmerizing aurora borealis, its frozen seas. Musk oxen, polar bears, narwhal, and other exotic beasts of the region come alive through Lopez’s passionate and nuanced observations. And, as he examines the history and culture of the indigenous people, along with parallel narratives of intrepid, often underprepared and subsequently doomed polar explorers, Lopez drives to the heart of why the austere and formidable Arctic is also a constant source of breathtaking beauty, beguilement, and wonder.
Written in prose as memorably pure as the land it describes, Arctic Dreams is a timeless mediation on the ability of the landscape to shape our dreams and to haunt our imaginations.
Look for Barry Lopez's new book, Horizon, available now.
About the Author
Barry Lopez is the author of three collections of essays, including Horizon; several story collections; Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist; and Crow and Weasel, a novella-length fable. He contributed regularly to both American and foreign journals and traveled to more than seventy countries to conduct research. He was the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundations and was honored by a number of institutions for his literary, humanitarian, and environmental work. He died in 2020.
“Extraordinary. . . . A master nature writer.” —The New York Times Book Review
“One of those landmark works of travel writing.” —The New Yorker
“Dazzling. . . . Treats the distant, snowy world of the Arctic as a place that exists not only in the mathematics of geography but also in the terra incognita of our imaginations.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Lopez is. . .the most important living writer about wilderness. . . . [Arctic Dreams is] his masterpiece.” —The Guardian