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Skating To Antarctica
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'This strange and brilliant book recounts Jenny Diski's journey to Antarctica last year, intercut with another journey into her own heart and soul...a book of dazzling variety, which weaves disquisitions on indolence, truth, inconsistency, ambiguousness, the elephant seal, Shackleton, boredom and over and over again memory, into a sparse narrative, caustic observation and vivid description of the natural world. While Diski's writing is laconic, her images are haunting.' Elspeth Barker, Independent on Sunday
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* Review coverage in the national and travel press

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About the Author

Jenny Diski is the author of eight novels and two memoirs: SKATING TO ANTARCTICA and STRANGER ON A TRAIN. She lives in Cambridge.

Reviews

'Jenny Diski's new book has the gripping dream-like logic of a fairy story...Even better, it's a true story...I savoured her clarity, the clipped, astringent truthfulness of her prose, the ice-and-lemon of her universal agnosticism.' Maggie Gee, Literary Review ** 'This is her best and most moving book to date...sassy and vulnerable...Diski puts all her novelistic skills at the service of discovering and arranging autobiographical truth.' Michele Roberts, The Times 'Skating to Antarctica is a fascinating, moving account of two voyages...Diski's book shines out for its wit, lack of self- pity and strong interest in survival. I relished her sketches of ship routine, solemn penguins and bored soldiers...Diski has a great sense of the absurd, whether she is writing about her conman father or the sexual antics of an elephant seal. Antarctica is not barren after all.' - Helen Dunmore, Express 'A non-fiction masterpiece.' - She 'This extraordinary account of a journey to the most barren outer reaches of the planet becomes a beautiful, complex symbol: it's a voyage of self-discovery to the white emptiness that is painted as truth, despair, calm and madness - all at once.' - Good Housekeeping 'There are not many novelists who would make a serious request to be a writer in residence in the Antarctic. But then there are not many novelists like Jenny Diski.' - Observer Review 'The conjunction between Antarctica and her past is predicated on a notion of emptiness...The symbol becomes so powerful that Diski, like Pynchon before her, finally uses a lower-case 'a': that place without pain is antarctic...Skating to Antarctica is both fragmentary memoir and sketchy travelogue. Together they tell the shadowy story of an inner journey form darkness to light. It is an inconclusive trip, but then all the best ones are.' - Daily Telegraph 'An original and striking memoir, cool but authentic, filled with emotional imagery and insight that is all the more resonant for its restraint.' - Independent on Sunday 'Jenny Diski's Skating to Antarctica, part traveller's tale, part autobiography, tells the story of a trip to Antarctica, interwoven with reminiscences of her dysfunctional family and daughter's quest to find what became of Diski's own long-lost mother. There are great descriptions of penguins and elephant seals and Diski's fellow travellers, and a gripping account of Diski's amazingly awful parents. Keeps you appalled and enthralled.' - Observer '... unfailingly sharp-edged prose, confession with its wit about it.' - Times Literary Supplement.

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