Episode 87: Andrea Pitzer

Andrea Pitzer is the author of Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World. The book was published by Scribner, and went on sale on January 12.

Icebound is a gripping piece of narrative journalism focused on European arctic explorers in the 16th century. At the center is William Barents, one of the greatest navigators of the time who’s obsessive quest to sail through the most remote regions of the Arctic ended in both tragedy and glory.

Pitzer did an amazing amount of research in order to tell this centuries-old tale. For Icebound, Pitzer made three trips to the Arctic herself. She spent a great deal of time in archives and libraries. She even walked through a replica of the yachts that sailed in the 16th century. 

Icebound is Pitzer’s third book. Her first book was The Secret History of Vladimir Nabobkov. After that, she wrote One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps

In 2009, Pitzer founded Nieman Storyboard, the narrative nonfiction website for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She stayed on as the editor until 2012, but the site is still going strong. 

Pitzer has written for The Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, Outside Magazine, GQ, Longreads and others.

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