South Pole Scribe
Courtesy of Lucy Jane Bledsoe
No landscape on this planet is harsher than the frostbitten mountains of Antarctica—and there is nowhere that Berkeley-based author Lucy Jane Bledsoe would rather be.
“I’m drawn to that place,” she says, almost dreamily. “I love the outdoors, and I love places where that wildness is still raw.”
Antarctica has proven to be a true inspiration for Bledsoe. She has written several books set there, including a children’s book,The Antarctic Scoop, and her 2006 nonfiction work, The Ice Cave: A Woman’s Adventures from the Mojave to the Antarctic.
It’s not surprising that Bledsoe became a writer focused on the wildest of settings. Throughout her childhood, she loved anything related to the outdoors. “I used to imagine what it would be like to be lost in the woods or the mountains in terrible weather, and how I would survive,” she says.
As a writer, Bledsoe is more than surviving. She has won numerous awards, including a California Arts Council Individual Fellowship in Literature, an American Library Association Award for Literature, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and two fellowships from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.
Bledsoe’s newest release, Biting the Apple, is due out on September 18. The novel examines the extreme life choices made by an ex-Olympic athlete. While the book is a departure from her works on Antarctica, the author is quick to point out thematic similarities.
“My books are, at their hearts, about the human pursuit of both authenticity and grace,” says Bledsoe. “Biting the Apple gently pokes fun at those longings.”
Bledsoe will read from Biting the Apple at Black Oak Books in Berkeley on September 19 at 7 p.m.