Access All Areas

Selected Writings 1990-2011

Sara Wheeler

North Point Press

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Adventures in going forth and staying put from one of our greatest travel writers

In vivid, urgent books such as Terra Incognita and The Magnetic North, Sara Wheeler reckoned with the allure and brutality of life on the fringes, exploring distant lands with an extraordinary sensitivity to history, to place, and to the people who inhabit them.
     Access All Areas collects the best essays and journalism by a writer who has used extreme travel as a means to explore an inner landscape. Ranging from Albania to the Arctic, Wheeler attends a religion seminar aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 and defrosts her underwear inside an igloo. She treks to distant Tierra del Fuego—“a place where nothing ever happened”—and to the swamps of Malawi, a place so hot that toads explode. She crosses dubious borders with nothing but a kidney donor card for ID and learns to wing walk and belly dance, though not at the same time.
     Charming, scathing, restless, and eternally amused, the writer we meet in Access All Areas has spent a lifetime investigating roots and rootlessness. Seeking only to satisfy her own curiosity, Wheeler shows us the world.

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Book Excerpts

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The End of the Bolster: Romance in Poland
 
 
In 1981, I purchased a round-trip ticket to Warsaw on LOT airlines. I was twenty, with a year of university behind me. Why Poland? I can’t remember, except that the country had been in the papers a lot that year. I had been waitressing throughout the holidays and accrued the absurdly small sum required to buy, in addition to the plane ticket, a monthlong Polish rail pass.
It was already dark when I arrived in Warsaw, but I had the address of a government accommodation office and managed to get there on a tram.

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Reviews

Praise for Access All Areas

Praise for The Magnetic North

“Smashing . . . An informative and ultimately tragic tour of a region in the throes of drastic change.” —Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post

“Exceptional . . . With wry humor and extensive research, Wheeler captures a swiftly transforming region.” —Holly Morris, The New York Times Book Review


In the Press

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » My Life in Six Drawers
by Sara Wheeler The happiest moment of my life presented itself one cool February afternoon in the Transantarctic Mountains, many years ago. I was hiking up a valley.
- FSG's Work in Progress


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About the Author

Sara Wheeler

Sara Wheeler is the author of six books of biography and travel, including Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile, Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica, and The Magnetic North. She lives in London.

Sara Wheeler

© Mark Collins
Sara Wheeler

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Available Formats and Book Details

Access All Areas
Selected Writings 1990-2011
Sara Wheeler

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
January 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780865478787
ISBN10: 0865478783
336 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
January 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780865478770
ISBN10: 0865478775
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages, Appendix
$18.00
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North Point Press

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