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Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey of the Silk Road

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey of the Silk Road

Written by Kate Harris

Narrated by Amy Landon


Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey of the Silk Road

Written by Kate Harris

Narrated by Amy Landon

ratings:
3.5/5 (68 ratings)
Length:
11 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 21, 2018
ISBN:
9780062850805
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

A brilliant, fierce writer makes her debut with this enthralling travelogue and memoir of her journey by bicycle along the Silk Road—an illuminating and thought-provoking fusion of The Places in Between, Lab Girl, and Wild that dares us to challenge the limits we place on ourselves and the natural world.

As a teenager, Kate Harris realized that the career she craved—to be an explorer, equal parts swashbuckler and metaphysician—had gone extinct. From what she could tell of the world from small-town Ontario, the likes of Marco Polo and Magellan had mapped the whole earth; there was nothing left to be discovered. Looking beyond this planet, she decided to become a scientist and go to Mars.

In between studying at Oxford and MIT, Harris set off by bicycle down the fabled Silk Road with her childhood friend Mel. Pedaling mile upon mile in some of the remotest places on earth, she realized that an explorer, in any day and age, is the kind of person who refuses to live between the lines. Forget charting maps, naming peaks: what she yearned for was the feeling of soaring completely out of bounds. The farther she traveled, the closer she came to a world as wild as she felt within.

Lands of Lost Borders is the chronicle of Harris's odyssey and an exploration of the importance of breaking the boundaries we set ourselves; an examination of the stories borders tell, and the restrictions they place on nature and humanity; and a meditation on the existential need to explore—the essential longing to discover what in the universe we are doing here.

Like Rebecca Solnit and Pico Iyer, Kate Harris offers a travel account at once exuberant and reflective, wry and rapturous. Lands of Lost Borders explores the nature of limits and the wildness of the self that can never fully be mapped. Weaving adventure and philosophy with the history of science and exploration, Lands of Lost Borders celebrates our connection as humans to the natural world, and ultimately to each other—a belonging that transcends any fences or stories that may divide us.

Publisher:
Released:
Aug 21, 2018
ISBN:
9780062850805
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Kate Harris is a writer and adventurer with a knack for getting lost. Named one of Canada's top modern-day explorers, her award-winning nature and travel writing has featured in The Walrus, Canadian Geographic Travel, Sidetracked and The Georgia Review, and cited in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. In 2019, she was awarded the RBC Taylor Prize, one of Canada's most esteemed literature awards. She has degrees in science from MIT and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in the history of science from Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes scholar. When she isn't away on expeditions, or reporting on UN environmental negotiations for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Harris lives off-grid in a log cabin on the border of the Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska. This is her first book.


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Reviews

What people think about Lands of Lost Borders

3.5
68 ratings / 5 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Fantastic book about traveling in Asia. Very funny stories about riding a bike on the Silk Road.
  • (5/5)
    The best thing I have come across in my life, this book , the story, the story telling, the people in it and the awesome reader
  • (3/5)
    After cycling (illegally) across the Tibetan plateau in the university summer vacation, Kate Harris and her primary school friend Melissa come back a few years later to spend a year cycling the entire Silk Road from Istanbul to India. But it turns out that this isn't (just) another of those entertaining stories of punctures, visa problems, goat's-head soup, horrible weather and unwisely-chosen campsites, written to justify the year off from normal life. Harris is a science graduate whose aim since early childhood has been to become an astronaut and go to Mars, and she's also spent part of the time in between the two trips as a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford working on the unintended political impact of scientific exploration, so she spends a lot of time digressing from the day-to-day descriptions of travel into reflections on the meaning and purpose of travel and exploration and her own motives in travelling. She also talks a lot about borders, where they come from and what they mean, in the context of the many borders they have to cross in Central Asia. It's a bit of a mixed bag: there are some very obvious observations and some quite profound ones, and she cites interesting, obscure travellers with the same gusto as she pulls out ubiquitous bits of the quotations dictionary. But overall, I found it a thoughtful, stimulating kind of a travel book, certainly a writer to watch out for in the future.
  • (4/5)
    The Silk Road - Marco Polo springs to mind and his travels are referenced, though perhaps not as much as I would wish. There are however repeated references to Mars - and the stars. While this is a perfectly reasonable pre-occupation for the author, most of it seemed out of place in the context of this book, which did not endear it to me - a personal view.
  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    not that interesting,too much of Kate Harris,give it a pass!

    1 person found this helpful