Fifty Words for Snow by Nancy Campbell
Snow. Every language has its own words for the feather-like flakes that come from the sky. In Japanese we find Yuki-onna – a ‘snow woman’ who drifts through the frosted land. In Icelandic falls Hundslappadrifa – ‘big as a dog’s paw’. And in Maori we meet Huka-rere – ‘one of the children of rain and wind’.
From mountain tops and frozen seas to city parks and desert hills, writer and Arctic traveller Nancy Campbell digs deep into the meanings of fifty words for snow. Under her gaze, each of these linguistic snow crystals offers a whole world of myth and story.
What do you associate with snow? Childhood memories of snowball fights perhaps? The cold air as it catches your breath after a snowfall? But look closely and there is so much more to just the word ‘snow’. Fifty Words for Snow (Elliott & Thompson) by Nancy Campbell has just been released and it is a beautifully presented book from start to finish.
We are off on an international trek looking at what snow means as far as myth and culture but also this is a timely look at the current ecological crisis. Nancy Campbell was a Writer in Residence at the most northern museum in the world which was on the northwest coast of Greenland when she was looking at ice and the changing language and landscape of the Arctic. Now Nancy turns her attention to snow.
If you love the winter and snow, then this is a book that you will want to find under the Christmas tree this year. Nancy’s writing is just sparkling like freshly fallen snow. We travel around the globe looking at new words and meanings, some of the words you may struggle to pronounce but these are real and many will be new to many readers. Short essays follow that take the reader to new worlds even to places where you would not think of it ever seeing snow. From the ice roads on frozen lakes in Estonia to the Scottish borders across to read about Mongolian and the Kurdish word for Snowdrops.
Fifty Words for Snow is just a magical read and as Nancy explains that she started to write this in September 2019 and finished six months later. The world suddenly in the grip of a pandemic at the same time a climate crisis which means we would lose a lot of what Nancy talks about in this beautiful book that deserves so much praise and deserves to read.
Thank you Alison Menzies and Elliott & Thompson for the review copy of Fifty Words for Snow by Nancy Campbell
Fifty Words for Snow by Nancy Campbell was published by Elliott & Thompson and was published on 5th November 2020 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org
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