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Heart So Hungry: A Woman's Extraordinary Journey into the Labrador Wilderness [Kindle Edition]

Randall Silvis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: $15.50
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $3.51 (23%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

A gripping cold weather, true-life adventure, Heart So Hungry tells the story of a race across Labrador and one woman’s determination — inspired by grief and fed by outrage — to set the record straight.

A remarkable adventure, a love story and a thrilling race are all front and centre in this account of how one woman’s devotion to her late husband’s memory transformed Mina Hubbard from a rural Ontario nurse into the most celebrated female explorer of her time.

In 1903, following an ambitious expedition to map the interior of Labrador, Mina’s husband, Leonidas, dies of starvation in a cold, boggy, wind-scoured landscape. Allegations surface that the expedition failed because of Hubbard’s incompetence, so Dillon Wallace, Leonidas’ partner on the failed expedition, decides to honour a promise that he made to Hubbard to complete the route that they had been supposed to take. When Mina Hubbard discovers what Wallace has planned, she doubts his motives and decides to mount her own Labrador expedition and to beat Wallace to the finish line. Driven by her devotion, Mina wins the race, beating Wallace by a month and a half, and becomes in the process the first white woman to make contact with the elusive Naskapis Indians.

Using original, unpublished source material, as well as books written by the main actors in the drama, novelist Randall Silvis pieces together a narrative of the race between Wallace and Mina Hubbard, as well as the fateful first expedition of Wallace and Leonidas Hubbard.

Editorial Reviews


"A work of creative non-fiction at once vivid, comprehensive and compelling."
The Globe and Mail

"By following these mad dreamers into the wilds, and entering into their subjective existences, Silvis recreates what it means to challenge a rugged landscape, evoking the frustration of bogs and swamps and dangerous rapids, the torments of mosquitoes and black flies, and the exhilaration of surmounting a final ridge to stand gazing over a lake that few have ever seen. . . . Heart So Hungry is a notable addition to the literature of northern exploration."
The Globe and Mail

"A seamless, gripping account of three expeditions that rings true on all levels. Silvis expertly weaves together the expeditions."
The Chronicle Herald

"A tale of courage, rivalry and betrayal. . .Conflicts and obstacles abound as the vibrant, succinct narrative portrays the key players in a series of vividly imagined scenes and conversations. Silvis’s skills as a fiction writer breathe new life into the story by creating complex characters that the reader cares about. . . . Silvis’s lively rendering of this course of events celebrates the steely determination of Canada’s first female explorer. It also captures the untamed beauty of Labrador as a place of both danger and intrigue."
Winnipeg Free Press

"Heart So Hungry is a complex love story . . . but it is also a tragedy and an epic. The combination makes for a wonderful tale. Silvis knows how to develop character and craft scenes that draw readers into his story and help them understand the characters’ motives."
Quill & Quire

"Compellingly exciting. . . . For armchair adventure, this is a book that will keep you glued to your rocker until the last lines of Mina’s love."
The Sun Times (Owen Sound)

Praise for Randall Silvis:
"Randall Silvis is this country’s most pitch-perfect stylist, and one of a few writers in his generation who will make a difference."
—Pulitzer Prize nominee William Allen

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Randall Silvis is the author of eight books of fiction. A Senior Fulbright Fellow and Thurber House writer-in-residence, his many awards include the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize, three National Playwrights Showcase Awards, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and their two sons.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2027 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (July 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DB6NJ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #976,635 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The title appears to be the drive behind the story. July 31, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It gave me the feeling of being there in the story. Made me wish I had some of the determination this lady had. I have recommended this book to my friends. I felt that it was very well written.
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More About the Author

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of over a dozen novels, one story collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. Also a prize-winning playwright, a produced screenwriter, and a prolific essayist, he has been published and produced in virtually every field and genre of creative writing. His numerous essays, articles, poems and short stories have appeared in the Discovery Channel magazines, The Writer, Prism International, Short Story International, Manoa, and numerous other online and print magazines. His work has been translated into 10 languages.

Silvis's many literary awards include two writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award, six fellowships for his fiction, drama, and screenwriting from the Pennsylvania Council On the Arts, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree awarded for "distinguished literary achievement."

From Randall:
For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to life's oddities, human and otherwise. Maybe that's why the first book of fiction to make a lasting claim on my attention was Ray Bradbury's October Country. That story collection presented life as a series of carnival sideshows, and that was exactly how the pre-adolescent me viewed life, and how I view it still--life as a temporary village of tattered, wind-vulnerable tents pegged into the mud and sawdust, each holding a tantalizing secret, the three-breasted woman, the dog-faced boy, each with its story of wretchedness and woe, each startling sight producing its own particular tingle of love and revulsion.

A sensitive, creative boy cannot grow up in the coalfields of Pennsylvania without also seeing himself as freakish. If he is lucky he can hide the freakishness behind his athleticism, but sooner or later he must embrace what he is or climb into the bottle or merely go mad. At nineteen I chose the first option. I stopped studying to become an accountant and drove across the country in a 1958 Thunderbird, pausing to rest only when something sufficiently freakish called my name. Along the way I discovered a kinship with the Native American culture, and on subsequent trips I swung south to soak up the mysticism and supernatural elements of the Hispanic cultures. My mother's family has Scottish roots, my father's has Portuguese, so it isn't hard to discern how an affinity for the numinous got twisted up with the otherwise freaky strands of my DNA.

My first book was labeled as magic realism, and rightfully so. I was living in San Diego when I wrote those stories, reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and Leaf Storm and most of Carlos Castaneda's books between trips into Tijuana and Ensenada and the low desert beyond California's El Cajon. But I was also reading Steinbeck's The Log from the Sea of Cortez and The Grapes of Wrath, Knut Hamsum's Hunger and Growth of the Soil, all of Hemingway and Faulkner, John Fante, Irwin Shaw, Harvey Swados, Thomas Pynchon, Eudora Welty, James Lee Burke, Flannery O'Connor, Umberto Eco, Henry Miller, Stanley Elkin, Isaac Singer, Lewis Nordan, Borges, Barth, Ondaatje, Goyen, Beckett, Robbins, Brautigan, and just about anything else I could lay my hands on.

Then, in the slow blink of an increasingly farsighted eye, another twelve books followed, all about characters who, at least subcutaneously, are as weird and full of wondering as me. Call them mysteries, mainstream, literary, slipstream, fabulism, fantasy, dirty magic realism, whatever you feel like calling them. Each is just one more tattered tent along the muddy midway of life.


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