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'Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube' by Blair Braverman: EW review

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Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Blair Braverman
publisher:
Ecco
genre:
Memoir

We gave it an A-

“I’ve spent more than half my life pointed northward, trying to answer private questions about violence and belonging and cold,” writes Braverman at the outset of her remarkable memoir, a coming-of-age tale set largely on the Norwegian tundra—where she trained sled dogs—and in Alaska, where she worked as a tour guide. Though the narrative jumps back and forth in time, Braverman’s clear, firm voice holds the story together. For her, the pull of the far north was inexorable, no matter how hard life there was. And it was hard: She endured temperatures that dipped to –20º and –30º, violent weather, and—most of all—the rough, male-oriented culture of the frontier, which could be terrifying. It’s amazing to watch as she develops backbone and grit, determined not to let anyone or anything stand between her and the icy landscape she loves so much. “Fear didn’t make me crazy,” she writes. “It made me brave.” A–