Time Song: Journeys in Search of a Submerged Land

Pantheon. Aug. 2019. 304p. illus. by Enrique Brinkmann. maps. index. ISBN 9781101871676. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871683. HIST
Award-winning author Blackburn (Old Man Goya) brings her creative energy to the lost prehistoric worlds of northwestern Europe. Doggerland, a region now submerged beneath the North Sea, once connected Britain to continental Europe. Prehistoric humans, mammoths, and other Ice Age denizens once roamed over a landscape that appeared and disappeared over hundreds of thousands of years. In addition to the content, which itself is unique and rarely explored, the book’s presentation is extraordinary. There are poems about natural processes and human evolution; seemingly tangential, personal narratives that arrive at an illuminating point; and informational yet highly readable scientific discussions, such as a vivid description of a Netsilik Eskimo hunting party. The text flows like water, almost dreamlike. Brinkmann’s stylistic drawings, scattered throughout, resemble cave art. A series of Doggerland maps follows through the work, a chronological presentation illustrating the unrecognizable topography of 18,000 years ago up to the more familiar territory of 7,000 years ago. Those seeking a more straightforward work on the Ice Age may prefer Jamie Woodward’s The Ice Age, but Blackburn offers a visionary, memorable account.
VERDICT Exploring natural history as part of humanity, this unique, artistic, and original work will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. [See Prepub Alert, 2/18/19.]
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