The New York Times Book Review ran a review of Kathleen Winter‘s book Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage in a travel roundup, calling it “an intriguing chronicle of a journey through the Northwest Passage.”
November 30, 2015
The Canadian novelist Kathleen Winter makes an impulsive decision to join the passengers and crew of a Russian ship plying the Arctic in BOUNDLESS: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage (Counterpoint, $26). And she needed this. At 50, she feels cut off from the “blaze of connectedness and belonging” that had been present in her life at certain times during her youth and can only dimly recall being able to sense the world around her “bathed in a kind of inaudible music, or swirling transparence.” Verbal fireworks like this should be a signal that this ship’s log isn’t going to lack for poetic adjectives — or metaphysical ambition.
The vessel’s tight quarters give Winter plenty of room to observe her companions, and the result is an intriguing chronicle of a journey through the Northwest Passage and out of a personal funk. As she watches icebergs, Winter feels a change in “the boundaries between earth and psyche,” perhaps because her own inner ice is breaking. Though she occasionally invests the polar landscape with a little too much soul-power, her ability to toggle between nature writing and personal reflection will keep readers following in her wake.