What to expect

All her life, Katherine Keith has hungered for remote, wild places that fill her soul with freedom and peace. Her travels take her across America, but it is in the vast and rugged landscape of Alaska that she finds her true home. Alaska is known as a place where people disappear—at least a couple thousand go missing each year. But the same vast and rugged landscape that contributed to so many people being lost is precisely what has gotten her found.

She and her husband build a log cabin miles away from the nearest road and create a life of love. An idyllic existence, but with isolation and brutal living conditions can also come heartbreak. Chopping wood and hauling water are not just parts of a Zen proverb but a requirement for survival. Keith experiences tragic loss and must push on, with her infant daughter, alone in the Alaskan backcountry.

Long-distance dog sledding opens a door to a new existence. Racing across the state of Alaska offers the best of all worlds by combining raw wilderness with solitude and athleticism. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the “Last Great Race on Earth,” remains a true test of character and offers the opportunity to intimately explore the frontier that she has come to love.

With every thousand miles of winter trail traversed in total solitude, she confronts challenges that awaken internal demons, summoning all the inner grief and rage that lies dormant. In the tradition of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and John Krakauer’s Into the Wild, Epic Solitude is the powerful and touching story of how one woman found her way—both despite and because of—the difficulties of living and racing in the remote wilderness.

Critics Review

  • “In Epic Solitude, every step, every experience prepares Katherine Keith for her true destiny—her truth. She finds purpose and passion under extraordinary conditions: the Alaskan wilderness. Deep wilderness, deep healing, spiritual, and trailblazing.”

    Susan Purvis, bestselling and award-winning author of Go Find
  • “Katherine’s writing is as beautiful as the Alaskan wilderness, as compelling as the Iditarod, and as engaging as the Northern Lights. It’s a story of love, life, loss, and resilience. I loved this book!”

    Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica and Grayson
  • “An athlete and adventurer searches for peace and belonging in the Alaskan wilderness in this heartfelt memoir…This intense and uplifting treatise on self-exploration celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “[Keith] tells her story with brutal honesty, unafraid to ask difficult questions and face the answers, while making clear the deep passion she feels for her sport and her love for her dogs. This is a story of survival and triumph in an unforgiving place, told by someone who understands that despite the solitude, the journey forward is always, somehow, a shared one.”

    Booklist
  • Epic Solitude is a heartbreaking, gripping, and ultimately uplifting memoir of tragedy and transcendence in the wild. Brave and inspiring!”

    Aspen Matis, author of Your Blue Is Not My Blue
  • “Of course I know Kat, the irrepressible musher, who I have seen many times on the thousand-mile Iditarod Trail. Is it just a dog race? By reading Epic Soltiude, a collection of thoughtful essays on a life framed as adventure, one contemplates nature, hardship, and experience on many levels. Katherine Keith, the philosopher, led me on a grand journey to inner self—a great and recommended read for those that value risk.”

    Joe Runyan, Iditarod, Yukon Quest, and Alpirod champ

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