Driving to Greenland

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In 1985, Peter Stark published the first essay that would eventually become part of DRIVING TO GREENLAND. Over the next nine years, Stark published essays in OUTSIDE magazine as well as SMITHSONIAN and ISLANDS magazines. He has grouped together many of those essays for this book. DRIVING TO GREENLAND is divided into three sections. The first section, “The Way Down: Winter Sports,” includes four essays that speak to the dangers and exhilaration of participating in winter sports such as ski jumping, bobsledding, and downhill skiing. The second section, “The Road North: Arctic Travel,” includes three essays that describe the harrowing experience of traveling to Greenland and Iceland as well as describing how unique life is for the inhabitants of both countries. The last section, “On the Surface: Snow and Ice,” includes four essays that detail winter activities that die-hard lovers of snow and ice flock to every year.

In the introductory essay—“A Life Built on Snow”—to DRIVING TO GREENLAND, Stark explains how he was introduced to winter sports at an early age by his parents. Both of his parents were expert skiers. Stark also relates how his grandfather excelled at skating and iceboating. Having been taught by his family to love and respect the wonders of the winter season, Stark could not help but be drawn to participation in a number of winter activities. Over the years, he has challenged himself in some rather extreme winter sports. For the novice, it would seem that Stark is a crazy daredevil, but that is far from the truth. He does not believe in taking unnecessary chances. He has a healthy respect for the winter environment and only attempts what would be considered “risky” challenges after the appropriate amount of training and study. DRIVING TO GREENLAND is an exciting and educational reading experience. Stark’s passion for snow and ice jumps off the page of each of the twelve illuminating essays.