Ottawa International Writers Festival presents: Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest with Wade

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Book launch: Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, by award-winning author, photographer and filmmaker Wade Davis (host TBA)

$15 general | $10 students/seniors | Free for festival members

Check for the most up-to-date listings, and other Writers Fest events!

“Into the Silence is a breathtaking triumph. An astonishing piece of research, it is also intensely moving, evoking the courage, chivalry and sacrifice that drove Mallory and his companions through the war and to ever greater heights.”

—William Shawcross

If the quest for Mount Everest began as a grand imperial gesture, as redemption for an empire of explorers that had lost the race to the Poles, it ended as a mission of regeneration for a country and a people bled white by war. Join bestselling author Wade Davis, an award-winning anthropologist, ethnobotanist, filmmaker and photographer for an unforgettable session that combines history, biography and adventure.

Into the Silence is a monumental work of history and adventure, ten years in the writing. In it, Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day. His answer lies in a single phrase uttered by one of the survivors as they retreated from the mountain: “The price of life is death.” Mallory walked on because for him, as for all of his generation, death was but “a frail barrier that men crossed, smiling and gallant, every day.” As climbers they accepted a degree of risk unimaginable before the war. They were not cavalier, but death was no stranger. They had seen so much of it that it had no hold on them. What mattered was how one lived, the moments of being alive. For all of them Everest had become an exalted radiance, a sentinel in the sky, a symbol of hope in a world gone mad.

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