Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road

Category: Book
By (author): Harris, Kate
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  NON-FICTION / General
  TRAVEL / Asia / General
Publisher: Knopf Random Vintage Canada
Published: January 2018
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in
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$ 29.95
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In the spirit of The Places in Between and Into the Silence, this is a transcendent memoir about travelling wildly out of bounds on the fabled Silk Road. "Carried me up into a state of excitement I haven't felt for years. It's a modern classic." --Pico Iyer

As a teenager, Kate Harris realized that the career she most craved--that of a generalist explorer, equal parts swashbuckler and metaphysician, with a flair for basic science and endless slogging--had gone extinct. From what she could tell of the world from small-town Ontario, the likes of Marco Polo and Magellan had mapped the whole earth. So she looked beyond this planet, vowing to become a scientist and go to Mars.
     Well along this path, Harris set off by bicycle down a short section of the fabled Silk Road with her childhood friend Mel Yule. This trip was just a simulacrum of exploration, she thought, not the thing itself--a little adventure to pass the time until she could launch for outer space. But somewhere in between sneaking illegally across Tibet, studying the history of science and exploration at Oxford, and staring down a microscope for a doctorate at MIT, she realized that an explorer, in any day and age, is by definition the kind of person who refuses to live between the lines. Forget charting maps, naming peaks, leaving footprints on another planet: what she yearned for was the feeling of soaring completely out of bounds. And where she'd felt that most intensely was on a bicycle, on a bygone trading route. So Harris quit the laboratory and hit the Silk Road again with Yule, this time determined to bike it from beginning to end.
    Like Rebecca Solnit and Pico Iyer, Kate Harris offers a travel account at once exuberant and meditative, wry and rapturous, and above all full of hope. Lands of Lost Borders explores the nature of limits and the wildness of the self that, like our planet, can never be fully mapped. Weaving adventure and deep reflection with the history of science and exploration, Lands of Lost Borders celebrates our connection as humans to the natural world, and ultimately to each other--a belonging that transcends any fences or stories that may divide us.
Biographical NoteKATE HARRIS is a writer and adventurer with a knack for getting lost. Named one of Canada's top modern-day explorers, her award-winning nature and travel writing has featured in The Walrus, Canadian Geographic Travel, Sidetracked and The Georgia Review, and cited in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. She has degrees in science from MIT and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in the history of science from Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes scholar. When she isn't away on expeditions, or reporting on UN environmental negotiations for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Harris lives off-grid in a log cabin on the border of the Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska.