Sunday Reading: The Remarkable Journeys of Explorers

Sunday Reading: The Remarkable Journeys of Explorers


There’s something compelling about journeying into the unknown. The promise of a new quest or an incredible expedition has inspired some of the world’s most famous explorers. This week, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces on adventurers and their remarkable journeys. In “The White Darkness,” David Grann traces Henry Worsley’s arduous solitary trek across Antarctica. Judith Thurman chronicles Amelia Earhart’s exceptional feats and the steps that led to her final flight. In “East Is West,” Claudia Roth Pierpont writes about the explorer Freya Stark’s travels in the Middle East. In a piece from 1954, Christopher Rand recounts the journey of Tenzing Norkay, the first Sherpa to reach the top of Mount Everest. In “The Crossing,” Alec Wilkinson reports on Poppa Neutrino’s tenacious efforts to cross the Pacific on a homemade raft. Finally, in “The Lost Mariner,” Elizabeth Kolbert examines Christopher Columbus’s complicated history. We hope that these pieces bring some adventure to your Sunday afternoon.

David Remnick

The White Darkness

At fifty-five, Henry Worsley began a solitary trek across Antarctica. It became a singular test of character.

“East Is West”

Freya Stark’s travels in Arabia.


“Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight”

The aviation pioneer was many things before—and after—her career as a pilot was cut short when her plane disappeared in the Pacific.

“The Crossing”

Poppa Neutrino faces the Pacific on a homemade raft.

“The Story of the First Sherpa to Climb to the Top of Mt. Everest”

Tenzing Norkay has been on more Everest expeditions than any other man, and he probably “deserved,” if anyone did, to reach the top.


“The Lost Mariner”

The self-confidence that kept Columbus going was his undoing.




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