Sacred Sea of Siberia

Book - 1992
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Baker & Taylor
A study of Russia's endangered Lake Baikal discusses the significance of this critical freshwater resource, the work of the Russian environmental movement against threats to the lake, and the native inhabitants that depend on the lake for survival.

Book News
Siberia's Lake Baikal is the oldest, deepest, and largest freshwater lake in the world. In the summer of 1990, the illustrious Matthiessen ( The Snow Leopard, At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Far Tortuga ) visited Baikal and composed the journal that forms the heart of this book accompanied by nature photographer Boyd Norton's striking color photographs, as well as excerpts on the history and biology of Baikal and translations of Buryat myths and folklore which celebrate the lake. Foreword by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. 9.5x8.75". Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
In Baikal, Peter Matthiessen takes readers on a fascinating journey to ancient Lake Baikal in Siberia. The world's oldest and deepest lake, Baikal is a natural wonder: more than a mile deep, it contains one-fifth of the fresh water on Earth; its waters possess a clarity and purity beyond compare - a coin dropped into the water can be clearly seen at a depth of 100 feet; at the bottom of the lake are hydrothermal vents that support unique forms of life, among which is the reclusive nerpa, the world's only freshwater seal. But this legendary lake - revered throughout Russia - is now endangered by acid rain and pollution from industries on the lake shore.
In the summer of 1990, Matthiessen was invited by musician-composer Paul Winter to join him on an expedition to explore the mysterious Baikal. Winter, whose visits to the lake over several years had inspired him to compose music celebrating the wonder of Baikal, hoped that Matthiessen would be so impressed by the lake's majesty - and so concerned by the loss of its biodiversity - that he would write on its behalf.
Here, then, is the journal Matthiessen composed during their voyage from end to end of the great lake, accompanied by a fascinating group of Russian naturalists and intellectuals, including the controversial writer Valentin Rasputin, who has made Baikal one of the centerpieces of the emerging Russian environmental movement.
Matthiessen's powerful tribute to this sacred and endangered landscape is enhanced by myths, folklore, and excerpts from historical texts about Baikal assembled by editor Chez Liley. Boyd Norton's striking photographs illustrate the lake's grandeur - from dawn light on the rugged peaks above the Brown Bear Coast to nerpa basking on rocks at Tonkii Island in Zabaikalsky National Park. A foreword by Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko introduces the book, and renowned environmentalist David Brower's afterword calls for the designation of Lake Baikal as a World Heritage Site.

& Taylor

Chronicles the author's expedition to the world's oldest and deepest lake, and examines the myths, folklore, and history surrounding Baikal

Publisher: San Francisco : Sierra Club Books, 1992
ISBN: 9780871565846
Branch Call Number: 915.75 MATTH
Characteristics: xiv, 89 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Norton, Boyd


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