Wednesday, March 11, 2009

True North times two

Last week I went over to Amazon to look at reader reviews of Jim Harrison's"True North" which I had started a few nights earlier and more on in a later post.Another"True North" caught my eye because the intro was by Lawrence Millman one of my favorite travel writers.His "Our Like will not be there again:Notes from the west of Ireland" is excellent as is his"Last Places,A Journey North" in which he follows the Viking route from Norway to Labrador.After I read that book I came across "The Lure of the Labrador Wild" by Dillon Wallace a harrowing account of a tragic canoe trip in Labrador in the early 1900's which Millman helped put back in print."True North" is another book on Labrador by Elliott Merrick who gave up an advertising career in the NY metro area during the depression to live amongst the natives and trappers in Labrador.It's quite a story so far and his description of the country is beautiful.The book was originally published by Scribners in 1933 and praised by Maxwell Perkins.This edition is a small press out of Vermont as is Merrick's later"Green Mountain Farm" which I also bought.In that one he and his Aussie wife who he met in Labrador buy a run down farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom some years later and the book is an account of their life on the farm.Millman writes the intro to this book also and both seem to be highly praised.I don't know why Labrador holds such a pull on me,maybe it's because to this day parts of it are still truly wild places but "True North" is the type of book I'm going to slow down on towards the end because I don't want it to end much like when I first read"The Lure of the Labrador Wild" years ago.This also marks the first time I have been reading two different books with the same title.So each night of late I talk to myself and ask do you want to read True North or True North tonight.

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