Access All Areas: Selected Writings 1990–2010

. January 2013. 336p. 978-0-86547-877-0. 16.
Wheeler (The Magnetic North) has written about her own travels in many cold places: Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Solovki Islands in the Russian White Sea, as well as her journeys in Chile, Bangladesh, and North Borneo. Also a biographer, she has explored the lives of Apsley Cherry-Garrard and Denys Finch Hatton, themselves also travelers of note. This collection gathers together a selection of Wheeler’s writings on her treks, thoughtful biographical discussions of other eminent explorers and their writings, and offbeat pieces on subjects such as belly dancing and biplane-wing walking. Wheeler is drawn to explorers who journey into the human condition; her own writing takes this path as well. ­
VERDICT This collection spans human exploration over many years and around the world, and is as much about writing as about travel, fortitude, and desperation. The author accomplishes what she praises other brilliant travel writers for achieving: holding up a mirror that reflects back the world. Highly recommended for lovers of travel writing and smart literary essays.

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