Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman
Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North

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Fans of adventure writing, fans of autobiographical writing – hell, fans of GOOD writing – all will be rewarded for embarking on the journey that Blair Braverman has laid before them.
-The Maine Edge

Synopsis

A rich and revelatory memoir of a young woman reclaiming her courage in the stark landscapes of the north.

By the time Blair Braverman was eighteen, she had left her home in California, moved to arctic Norway to learn to drive sled dogs, and found work as a tour guide on a glacier in Alaska. Determined to carve out a life as a “tough girl”—a young woman who confronts danger without apology—she slowly developed the strength and resilience the landscape demanded of her. 

By turns funny and sobering, bold and tender, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube brilliantly recounts Braverman’s adventures in Norway and Alaska. Settling into her new surroundings, Braverman was often terrified that she would lose control of her dog team and crash her sled, or be attacked by a polar bear, or get lost on the tundra. Above all, she worried that, unlike the other, gutsier people alongside her, she wasn’t cut out for life on the frontier. But no matter how out of place she felt, one thing was clear: she was hooked on the North. On the brink of adulthood, Braverman was determined to prove that her fears did not define her—and so she resolved to embrace the wilderness and make it her own. 

Assured, honest, and lyrical, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube paints a powerful portrait of self-reliance in the face of extraordinary circumstance. Braverman endures physical exhaustion, survives being buried alive in an ice cave, and drives her dogs through a whiteout blizzard to escape crooked police. Through it all, she grapples with love and violence—navigating a grievous relationship with a fellow musher, and adapting to the expectations of her Norwegian neighbors—as she negotiates the complex demands of being a young woman in a man’s land.

Weaving fast-paced adventure writing and ethnographic journalism with elegantly wrought reflections on identity, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube captures the triumphs and the perils of Braverman’s journey to self-discovery and independence in a landscape that is as beautiful as it is unforgiving. 

 

About Blair Braverman

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Blair Braverman graduated from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, where she was also an Arts Fellow. She has been a resident fellow at Blue Mountain Center and the MacDowell Colony and her work has appeared in Buzzfeed, The Atavist, The Best Women's Travel Writing, Orion, AGNI, High Country News, Waging Nonviolence, and on This American Life. She lives in Mountain, Wisconsin. Author Image 1
 
Published July 5, 2016 by Ecco. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 02 2016

Indelible characters, adventurous spirit, and acute psychological insight combine in this multilayered debut.

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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by PAMELA MILLER on Jul 05 2016

Its title, “Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube,” with its sarcastic profanity, and subtitle, “Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North,” with its earnest talkiness, are the only unfortunate things about her nuanced, witty, wise, eccentric story.

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The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Jul 13 2016

Fans of adventure writing, fans of autobiographical writing – hell, fans of GOOD writing – all will be rewarded for embarking on the journey that Blair Braverman has laid before them.

Read Full Review of Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cu...

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Bronwen Dickey on Aug 07 2016

As both a storyteller and a stylist, Braverman is remarkably skilled, with a keen sense of visceral detail...

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Jul 08 2016

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube makes for a great read, and ends well. Braverman now lives with the love of her life in northern Wisconsin – where she trains and races sled dogs.

Read Full Review of Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cu... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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