Canadian Kathleen Winter knows the North. Born in the UK, she has lived in Newfoundland and Labrador. Her amazing award winning novel Annabel is set in the remote north. Coming from an immigrant family she understands feelings of rootlessness and the tension between freedom and belonging. Even in Annabel, which is about gender, she sensitively explores the difficulty in finding home, the place where you belong. For Wayne/Annabel that struggle takes place in his/her own body. She often uses descriptions of cold natural landscapes to depict isolation and loneliness within. Her writing is thoughtful and insightful and graced with self-deprecating humour in this narrative non-fiction called Boundless.
Robert J. Wiersema, himself an accomplished novelist, wrote a beautiful review in the Globe and Mail which I will include here, because he simply says it all better than I can: Globe and Mail Review
Boundless, part biography part travelogue, is the result of an impromptu opportunity Kathleen Winter had to travel on a ship through the Northwest Passage. The gravity of following fatal Franklin’s “one warm line” through barren land and icebergs was not lost on Winter. But neither was the beauty. With great reverence and awe, she uses her reflective story telling so that we can travel with her and experience a part of the world that few will ever have a chance to see for themselves.
Being a Stan Rogers fan, I was thrilled to hear that Nathan Rogers, his son, was also on the boat with Winter. How poignant it must have been to hear him sing his father’s iconic and haunting “Northwest Passage” while actually being on the voyage! Stan Rogers tragically died when Nathan was only a small child, but the son has gone on to become just as fine a musician and human being as his Dad was.