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Icebound Read...Discuss...Repeat!
July 2006 Selection: Icebound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole
By: Dr. Jerri Nielsen
Copyright: 2001


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About the Book:

Jerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth. The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero--with no way in or out before the spring.

During the long winter of 1999, Dr. Nielsen, solely responsible for the mental and physical fitness of a team of researchers, construction workers, and support staff, discovered a lump in her breast. Consulting via email with doctors in the United States, she performed a biopsy on herself, and in July began chemotherapy treatments to ensure her survival until condition permitted her rescue in October. A daring rescue by the Air National Guard ensued, who landed, dropped off a replacement physician, and minutes later took off with Dr. Nielsen.

This is Dr. Nielsen's own account of her experience at the Pole, the sea change as she becomes "of the Ice," and her realization that as she would rather be on Antarctica than anywhere else on earth. It is also a thrilling adventure of researchers and scientists embattled by a hostile environment; a penetrating exploration of the dynamics of an isolated, intensely connected community faced with adversity; and, at its core, a powerfully moving drama of love and loss, of one woman's voyage of self-discovery through an extraordinary struggle for survival.

Related Web sites:

Reading Group Guide for Icebound

CNN Interview with Jerri Nielsen

Information about CBS TV Movie version of this book, starring Susan Sarandon as Dr. Jerri Nielsen

Virtual Tour of McMurdo Station

www.breastcancer.org


If You Like Icebound, Try:

Terra Antarctica: Looking Into the Emptiest Continent
By: William L. Fox. 2005.

Time on Ice: A Winter Voyage to Antarctica
By: Deborah Shapiro. 1998.

Life in the Freezer
By: David Attenborough [DVD]. 1993.

Into Thin Air
By: Jon Krakauer. 1997.

Fighting for Our Future
By: Beth Murphy. 2003.


Icebound Reader Comments:

I was transported to an unbelievable place in this true-life story. A woman with real struggles in her life grapples with the elements and serious health issues. It was an interesting story and maybe more so because I listened to it on CD

-- Kris T.
customer of Anderson Branch Library.
Customer Review Score - 8

This was a truly moving reading experience. Not only was this emotionally wrenching to share Dr. Neilsen's harrowing medical roller-coaster ride, but this book was also a tremendously educational look at what life is like at an Antarctic base! I enjoyed this one very much.

-- Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library.
Customer Review Score - 9

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