Skip to main content


Lands of Lost Borders (Digital Audiobook)

Out of Bounds on the Silk Road

By Kate Harris, Amy Landon (Narrator)

Publication Date: March 11, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (8/20/2018)
Paperback (6/11/2019)
Hardcover (8/21/2018)
Compact Disc (8/21/2018)
MP3 CD (8/21/2018)
Compact Disc (8/21/2018)

Winter 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List

“This memoir is so utterly winning in the way Harris tells her life story while interweaving it with a fascinating modern day journey by bicycle along the fabled Silk Road. Her insatiable appetite for exploration and adventure is infectious. The reader will be inspired to look at the world in new ways and open themselves up to new experiences. Lands of Lost Borders is a perfect blend of history, armchair travel, and great stories.”
— Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS
View the List

Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE RBC TAYLOR PRIZE
WINNER OF THE EDNA STAEBLER AWARD FOR CREATIVE NON-FICTION

"Every day on a bike trip is like the one before--but it is also completely different, or perhaps you are different, woken up in new ways by the mile."


As a teenager, Kate Harris realized that the career she most craved--that of a generalist explorer, equal parts swashbuckler and philosopher--had gone extinct. From her small-town home in Ontario, it seemed as if Marco Polo, Magellan and their like had long ago mapped the whole earth. So she vowed to become a scientist and go to Mars.
    To pass the time before she could launch into outer space, Kate set off by bicycle down a short section of the fabled Silk Road with her childhood friend Mel Yule, then settled down to study at Oxford and MIT. Eventually the truth dawned on her: an explorer, in any day and age, is by definition the kind of person who refuses to live between the lines. And Harris had soared most fully out of bounds right here on Earth, travelling a bygone trading route on her bicycle. So she quit the laboratory and hit the Silk Road again with Mel, this time determined to bike it from the beginning to end.
    Like Rebecca Solnit and Pico Iyer before her, Kate Harris offers a travel narrative at once exuberant and meditative, wry and rapturous. Weaving adventure and deep reflection with the history of science and exploration, Lands of Lost Borders explores the nature of limits and the wildness of a world that, like the self and like the stars, can never be fully mapped.


About the Author

KATE HARRIS is a writer and adventurer with a knack for getting lost. Named one of Canada's top modern-day explorers, her award-winning nature and travel writing has featured in The WalrusCanadian Geographic TravelSidetracked and The Georgia Review, and cited in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. She has degrees in science from MIT and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in the history of science from Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes scholar. When she isn't away on expeditions, or reporting on UN environmental negotiations for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Harris lives off-grid in a log cabin on the border of the Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska. Lands of Lost Borders is her first book. www.kateharris.ca