Two paddlers in a canoe on a giant mirror-still lake.


Adventure, Resilience, and Renewal in the Arctic Wild

A voyage of self-discovery across one of the planet’s most rugged landscapes

NOBA winner medallion

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award, Paddlenorth tells the riveting story of Jennifer Kingsley’s 54-day paddling adventure on the Back River in the northern wilderness of the Arctic as she and her five companions battle raging winds, impenetrable sea ice, treacherous rapids, and agonizing physical endurance while contending with rising tensions among the group. But they also experience the lasting joy of grizzly sightings, icy swims, and the caribou’s summer migration.

“Kingsley goes in search of a place where she feels ‘both small and strong’ and comes back with a fast-paced story of risk, reward, and raw emotion. For fans of adventure literature, here is a wilder Wild.”—J.B. MacKinnon, author of The Once and Future World

Paddlenorth: Adventure, Resilience, and Renewal in the Arctic Wild by Jennifer Kingsley

“For some of us, wilderness is a place—maybe a park. For others, it’s the essence of wild nature, and a park could never enclose it. Some call wilderness a cathedral; others call it a construction.

Inside wilderness lives the elusive idea of wildness, a shape-shifter that crawls onto the crease of a leaf, sleeps between skyscrapers, spreads across a mountain range, or rests in a drop of seawater. We could call it the spirit of wilderness, but wilderness cannot contain it. Wildness overflows the boundaries of location, refusing to conform to a scale or definition.” – from Paddlenorth

“A perilous journey through an unforgiving landscape. A wild adventure that sweeps you up in its wake. Jennifer Kingsley is a wicked paddler and a beautiful writer.”

–Andrew Westoll, winner of the Charles Taylor Prize

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Paddlenorth paints an indelible portrait of the spectacular Arctic landscape, rendered with a naturalist’s eye and an artist’s sensibility, and offers an eloquent exploration of belonging, the nature of friendship, and how wilderness changes us.

“A page-turner of an adventure in the Far North, at turns bone-chilling, mind-blowing, and exultant. This is travel writing at its best.”

— Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood