“There are masses of Science writers, my role is to do something different.”
– Sara Wheeler
Download Here: Sara Wheeler (b4b – s2.e4)
Look to the young and you will find The Spirit of Reading is alive and kicking. Dan witnessed it at the 2012 Festival of Trees this past Tuesday, May 15th. The festival gathers 4000+ under-fourteens form across Ontario, converging to chat, squabble, and generally go ga-ga about Canadian books written for young readers. It amounts to an eight hour hootenany of “woos” and “woo-hoos”, all about new books and their authors. The Forest of Reading program excites young readers.
Feature: Sara Wheeler
Peter called across the pond to talk with travel writer/geo-anthropologist Sara Wheeler about her most recent book, The Magnetic North. In it, Wheeler approaches the topic as a travel writer; she circumnavigates the countries of the North Pole with attention to the changing landscape, and its ramification on the lives of the people who exist above the Arctic circle.
Growing into middle age, Wheeler says, means that as a writer, she is looking at “what there is, rather than what could be.” If this means painting a dark picture of the north, so be it. But The Magnetic North is not simply a report on the ecological health of the north. “There are masses of Science writers,” Wheeler says, “my role is to do something different.” That “something different” demands emotional and psychic investment — the ingredients needed to write about what it means to be human, Besides, Wheeler offers, it’s the artist’s responsibility to find beauty amid horror.
Next Week: John Jeremiah Sullivan
American writer and editor JJS is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, and southern editor of The Paris Review. His newest book is the collection of essays, Pulphead.
Things we talked about:
Again, you can hear today’s episode here