Adrift: A True Story of Tragedy on the Icy Atlantic and the One Who Lived to Tell about It

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A story of tragedy at sea where every desperate act meant life or death

The small ship making the Liverpool-to-New York trip in the early months of 1856 carried mail, crates of dry goods, and more than one hundred passengers, mostly Irish emigrants. Suddenly an iceberg tore the ship asunder and five lifeboats were lowered. As four lifeboats drifted into the fog and icy water, never to be heard from again, the last boat wrenched away from the sinking ship with a few blankets, some water and biscuits, and thirteen souls. Only one would survive. This is his story.

As they started their nine days adrift more than four hundred miles off Newfoundland, the castaways--an Irish couple and their two boys, an English woman and her daughter, newlyweds from Ireland, and several crewmen, including Thomas W. Nye from Fairhaven, Massachusetts--began fighting over food and water. One by one, though, day by day, they died. Some from exposure, others from madness and panic. In the end, only Nye and the ship's log survived.

Using Nye's firsthand descriptions and later newspaper accounts, ship's logs, assorted diaries, and family archives, Brian Murphy chronicles the horrific nine days that thirteen people suffered adrift on the cold gray Atlantic. Adrift brings readers to the edge of human limits, where every frantic decision and desperate act is a potential life saver or life taker.
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About the author

Brian Murphy is a journalist at The Washington Post. He joined the paper after more than twenty years as an award-winning foreign correspondent and bureau chief for The Associated Press in Europe and the Middle East. He has three previous books, including 81 Days Below Zero, and currently lives in Washington with his wife Toula Vlahou.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Da Capo Press
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Published on
Sep 4, 2018
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780306901997
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / Victorian Era (1837-1901)
History / Maritime History & Piracy
History / United States / 19th Century
Transportation / Ships & Shipbuilding / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Wisdom of a Turkmen proverb.

The Root of Wild Madder opens with an invitation that flows from the same ancient inspiration. "A carpet is poetry itself," an Iranian carpet merchant declares to author Brian Murphy. "You just have to learn to read them." So begins a journey. It follows Persian carpets from the remote villages of Afghanistan and Iran where they are woven -- often by young girls -- and on to the bazaars where they are traded, to the Sufis and mystic poets who find grace and magic in their timeless designs, and, finally and unexpectedly, to a carpet showroom in New York.
Told in exquisite prose befitting one of the world's loveliest art forms, The Root of Wild Madder eloquently chronicles how carpets embody humanity's endless striving for unattainable perfection. Here are stories of the weavers and their dreams, the "mules" who move the carpets from place to place, the tradesmen who sell them in the bazaars, and the refugee compelled to trade a carpet he believes contains the soul of his grandmother -- because his family must eat.
The madder plant has fed the carpets' red brilliance since the earliest weavings. But the power of its palette, like the dyers' traditions, threatens to pass from memory. It would be a profound loss. It's part of a world as rich as any sublime carpet: steeped in spirituality, culture, allegory, and, above all, mystery. Nearly all the carpet masterworks are anonymous art for the ages, and Murphy seeks out their glorious hidden narratives. As he observes, "Every carpet carries its own distinctive voice. Suddenly I wanted to hear them."
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