‘A rich and fascinating book… so vivid it reads like a thriller.’ - Elisa Segrave, The Spectator
From the coast of Alaska to the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta of the Bering Sea, the Yukon River one of the great water-masses of the world. Over its 2000-mile course, the Yukon is vital to untold numbers of species and the many human communities that rely on its natural bounty.
Kings of the Yukon: An Alaskan River Journey is a dazzling, empathetic portrait of this river, written from the perspective of one who has kayaked its length. For four months, Adam Weymouth paddled upstream, following in the path of the extraordinary migration of the King Salmon. Battling upriver against colossal walls of water and risk, these majestic fish are iconic of the river itself, symbolic of its deep history and ecological continuity.
But as Weymouth quite magnificently records, much of this symbiosis now lies under threat. Extreme human change – surfacing first in the Klondike Gold Rush – applied pressure to both the river’s natural systems and the tribes indigenous to the region alike. Pollution from industry has taken its two-century toll and in the midst of it all fight the King Salmon, now driven into danger by the intense oil processing that is gradually turning the water to poison.
Elegiac, articulate, in his debut work Weymouth teases out the river’s story, brimming with incident and anecdote: sometimes an adventure, sometimes a salutary warning of our fragile interdependence with the natural world.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 213 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 17 mm
'This is the best kind of travel writing. Weymouth embarks on an ambitious journey - 2,000 miles down the Yukon in a canoe - voyaging, listening and learning. An outstanding book.' - Rob Penn, author of The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees
'An enthralling account of a literary and scientific quest. Adam Weymouth vividly conveys the raw grandeur and deep silences of the Yukon landscape, and endows his subject, the river's King Salmon, with a melancholy nobility.' - Luke Jennings, author of Blood Knots and Atlantic
'This book is an important contribution to our understanding of threatened ecosystems and what it means to be human on the edge of ecological catastrophe. I loved the sensitive but deeply powerful weave of pesca-poetry, knowledge and encounter that immersed me in the midst of the Yukon's forces and left me subtly transformed.' - Miriam Darlington, author of Owl Sense
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