Laura Waterman, of East Corinth, is the author of “Starvation Shore,” a book about the 1881 scientific expedition led by Adolphus W. Greely to Lady Franklin Bay in the Arctic. Waterman said that while writing the book she contemplated the trials and suffering of the group and how she would have responded under the conditions they endured. Waterman stood for a portrait at her East Corinth, Vt., home on Thursday, March 21, 2019. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to [email protected] Purchase a reprint »
Writer Laura Waterman, of East Corinth, works at her desk in East Corinth, Vt., Thurday, March 21, 2019. Waterman is the author of “Starvation Shore.” (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to [email protected] Purchase a reprint »
A photo of Laura Waterman with her husband Guy, with whom she wrote books on outdoor ethics and the history of hiking in New England, is pinned up in her East Corinth, Vt., office Thursday, March 21, 2019. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to [email protected] Purchase a reprint »
Of the 25 explorers who embarked on the Greely expedition to the Canadian Arctic in 1881, only seven returned alive to a parade in Portsmouth in 1884.
During their three years trapped north of Lady Franklin Bay, above Canada’s Ellesmere Island, the men endured almost unspeakable privation. Some died of hypothermia; some starved. Army Lt. Adolphus Greely denied that any of his men resorted to cannibalism.
Even for a person as adventurous as Laura Waterman, this topic seems inhospitable. Yet the East Corinth author has spent the past decade immersed in the Greely expedition’s ordeal, which is the subject of her first novel, Starvation Shore . The challenge of writing their story kept drawing her on.
“I could feel myself, as I got closer to the end, slowing down,” Waterman said during a mid-March interview at her cabin just outside East Corinth village. “I didn’t want to finish it. I love the mechanics of the words that are going to push the reader into the story.”
The novel, released March 20, is the latest evolution of Waterman’s long, productive career as a writer. A flurry of publications is bringing her work into sharper focus.
Now nearly 80, Waterman made her name co-writing nonfiction with her late husband, Guy Waterman, about wilderness and living lightly on the land. Starvation Shore follows close on the heels of the release of the 30th-anniversary edition of the Watermans’ seminal Forest and Crag: A History of Hiking, Trailblazing, and Adventure in the Northeast Mountains , and of a new edition of Yankee Rock and Ice: A History of Climbing in the Northeastern United States .
“I think Laura is an incredibly talented writer who was in the shadow of Guy when he was […]