Confessions of an Igloo Dweller: Memories of the Old Arctic

James M. Houston, Author
James M. Houston, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-78890-5
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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A chance visit to the Arctic in 1948--when Canadian author-artist Houston (The White Dawn) was invited to fly with an aviator friend on a medical emergency at an isolated post--dictated his future for the next 14 years. Stirred by the endless white landscape and the engaging warmth of the Inuits, he connived to return as a Northern Service officer and eventually became the first administrator of western Baffin Island. An artist himself, he recognized the artistry of the people in their carvings and drawings, and became a major force in bringing them to worldwide popularity. He introduced the Inuits to printing and money, oddities they had not known. In turn, they introduced him to their cooperative society, taught him their hunting skills and shared their food, stories and ways of living. His memories of those years, written with a modesty that belies his own accomplishments, peoples the Canadian Arctic with unique individuals and describes a mode of life that, for better or worse, he himself did much to change. Illustrations by the author. (Apr.)
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