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

Category: Book
By (author): Harris, Kate
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers
  TRAVEL / Asia / General
  TRAVEL / Essays & Travelogues
Awards: Banff Mountain Book Competition (2018) Winner
Publisher: Knopf Random Vintage Canada
Published: March 2019
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 8.25in x 5.50in
Our Price:
$ 21.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*"Every day on a bike trip is like the one before--but it is also completely different, or perhaps you are different, woken up in new ways by the mile."

As a teenager, Kate Harris realized that the career she most craved--that of a generalist explorer, equal parts swashbuckler and philosopher--had gone extinct. From her small-town home in Ontario, it seemed as if Marco Polo, Magellan and their like had long ago mapped the whole Earth. So she vowed to become a scientist and go to Mars.
    To pass the time before she could launch into outer space, Kate set off by bicycle down a short section of the fabled Silk Road with her childhood friend Mel Yule, then settled down to study at Oxford and MIT. Eventually the truth dawned on her: an explorer, in any day and age, is by definition the kind of person who refuses to live between the lines. And Harris had soared most fully out of bounds right here on Earth, travelling a bygone trading route on her bicycle. So she quit the laboratory and hit the Silk Road again with Mel, this time determined to bike it from the beginning to end.
    Weaving adventure and deep reflection with the history of science and exploration, Kate Harris offers a travel narrative at once exuberant and meditative, wry and rapturous, about the nature of limits and the wildness of a world that, like the stars and like our selves, can never be fully mapped.
"Kate Harris packs more exuberant spirit, intrepid charm, wit, poetry and beauty into her every paragraph than most of us can manage in a lifetime. Whether writing of Pony Club or remotest Tibet, her longing for Mars or her days at Oxford, she braids heart, mind and spirit with a wide-awake vitality that inspires wonder. Lands of Lost Borders carried me up into a state of openness and excitement I haven't felt for years. It's a modern classic." -Pico Iyer

"Kate Harris arrives among us like a meteor-a hurtling intelligence, inquiring into the nature of political borders and the meaning of crossing over. The honesty behind her self-doubt, her championing of simple human friendship, and her sheer determination to explore what she does not know, compel you to travel happily alongside her in Lands of Lost Borders." -Barry Lopez

"This is a hymn to the pure love of travel: a brave and astonishing journey." -Colin Thubron

"This fascinating book, about an unbridled desire for exploration, completely thrilled me. Getting to ride alongside Kate on her Silk Road journey is the literary adventure of a lifetime." -Leigh Stein, author of Land of Enchantment

"[E]xtraordinary. . . . Lands of Lost Borders . . . is rich not only because of the adventures it recounts, but in the telling of them. It isn't so much a travelogue as it is a contemplation of what pushes us out the door and how we change out there in the world before we return to our own little corner of it. This is not the type of book you want to motor through. Instead, it slows you down, so you can appreciate what you're experiencing- almost like a trip on a bicycle across an astonishing landscape. You find yourself wanting to linger, rereading passages built of sentences so beautiful they demand to be read out loud- even if no one else is in the room." -The Globe and Mail
"Lands of Lost Borders looks beyond these imaginary political boundaries meant to divide us. The book shows us that no matter how far off the beaten path you travel, people have far more in common than they do differences. It's an uplifting realization that gives hope for the future of humankind." -explore
Biographical NoteKATE HARRIS is a writer, adventurer, and 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. Lands of Lost Borders is her first book.