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The woman who walked to Russia : a writer's search for a lost legend
Pybus, Cassandra.
Adult Nonfiction F1087 .P93 2002

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Australian writer Pybus takes a fitful journey through Canada and Alaska to follow in the footsteps of Lillian Alling, a Russian woman who, in 1927, walked from New York City to British Columbia, thinking that she could reach Siberia. What little Pybus knows about this "compulsive pedestrian" comes from vague newspaper clippings that describe her as nearly mute, emaciated and resembling "a haunted person." Imbued with curiosity and kinship for her "elusive quarry," Pybus sets out with her traveling companion, Gerry, a robust and prickly fellow Aussie, on "a kind of feminist adventure. A cross between Thelma and Louise and the Two Fat Ladies," the two drive for hours on perilous roads, lodge in freezing cabins and spend a lot of time arguing-mostly about food, the aspects of which (starvation, bulimia, nutrition and guilt) become a recurrent theme. The scenes with Gerry add spark to Pybus's often hopeless wild goose chase, and when they part ways, Gerry's sass is missed. However, in the face of constant disappointment and dead-ends, Pybus turns her attention to the world around her for inspiration, and her accounts of bear sightings, salmon spawning and weather patterns, along with her keen social interest in the logging and hunting industries, create a textured portrait of a dazzling, dangerous landscape. In the end, a few small developments surface to add insight and meaning to Alling's trek, but the real journey is Pybus's, as she is a lively and likable wanderer. Map. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

Pybus is an award-winning Australian writer with several nonfiction titles to her credit. She first became interested in Lillian Alling while traveling through British Columbia. According to a tome she discovered in a bookstore there, Alling was a Russian immigrant who, in 1927, made her way from New York to British Columbia, where she trekked north by foot along the telegraph line to Alaska, then traveled by boat to Siberia. If what little was known of Alling's trip was true, the woman had accomplished a feat of extraordinary daring. Pybus's interest in Alling led her to duplicate the woman's journey. Accompanied by a friend from her past, she followed the now-defunct telegraph line from Hazelton to Whitehorse by SUV. From there, she continued alone to Alaska, where, in an Internet cafe, she tracked down the names of two women who fit the Alling legend. Pybus's conclusions make for interesting reading, accompanied as they are by astute observations on the people and places of northwestern North America. Recommended for all libraries.-Mary V. Welk, Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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