Kira Salak

Kira Salak

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Kira Salak won the PEN Award for journalism for her reporting on the war in Congo, and she has appeared five times in Best American Travel Writing. A National Geographic Emerging Explorer and contributing editor for National Geographic Adventure magazine, she was the first woman to traverse Papua New Guinea and the first person to kayak solo 600 miles to Timbuktu. She is the author of three books—the critically acclaimed work of fiction, The White Mary, and two works of nonfiction: Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea (a New York Times Notable Travel Book) and The Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles to Timbuktu. She has a Ph.D. in English, her fiction appearing in Best New American Voices and other anthologies. Her non ...more

Average rating: 3.86 · 1,555 ratings · 331 reviews · 4 distinct works · Similar authors
The White Mary
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 710 ratings — published 2008 — 14 editions
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Four Corners: A Journey int...
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 413 ratings — published 2001 — 5 editions
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Cruelest Journey: Six Hundr...
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 369 ratings — published 2004 — 3 editions
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Nixon Under the Bodhi Tree ...
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 63 ratings — published 2004
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“What I've learned is that everything in life - and I mean, even the worst of it - can be turned into grace...the test is - for even one moment in our lives - not to strike back at something, no matter how bad it gets...when you're faced with the temptation to get angry or upset and to hit back - you just don't do it. You let the temptation roll over you and not touch you. The idea is not to add to the collective pain...and by not doing so, you make the world a better place.”
Kira Salak, The White Mary

“I wonder what we look for when we embark on these kinds of trips. There is the pat answer that you tell the people you don't know: that you're interested in seeing a place, learning about its people. But then the trip begins and the hardship comes, and hardship is more honest: it tells us that we don't have enough patience yet, nor humility, nor gratitude. And we thought that we did. Hardship brings us closer to truth, and thus is more difficult to bear, but from it alone comes compassion. And so I've told the world that it can do what it wants with me during this trip if only, by the end, I have learned something more. A bargain then. The journey, my teacher.”
Kira Salak, Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu

“...I don't know where a utopia is supposed to be, or where one could be found. I sometimes think that it is the place where fear and doubt end with the realization that around you is everything you need, and there is nothing else to find.”
Kira Salak, Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea

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