More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood (Hardcover)
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An intense and emotional epistolary memoir by one of the world's top ice climbers, born at the confluence of motherhood, adventure, career, and marriage.
As one of the world’s leading female professional rock and ice climbers, Burhardt and her husband led globe-trotting, adventure-seeking lives. When she learns that she’s pregnant—with twins—Burhardt at first tries to justify her insistence on pursuing extreme risk in the face of responsibility. But she is ultimately forced to grieve the avalanche of emotions that accompanies any major life transitions along with the physical changes in her own body.
Based on the letters and journals Burhardt diligently kept over the course of those six years, More takes the reader on an around-the-world journey as Burhardt explores the transformative, identity-shifting experience of motherhood and its irreversible impact on career, identity, marriage, and self.
In the early weeks of her children's lives, Burhardt immerses herself in adoration for her twins and grappling with the tremendous guilt and struggle around having to return to risk-laden work and that ever elusive balance mothers everywhere seek amidst it all.
As the newness of her twins fades into a permanent reality, Burhardt turns her attention towards her marriage and the collateral damage as she and her husband, Peter, struggle to navigate their new normal. As anger and resentment threaten the foundation of her family, Burhardt courageously looks to her past—and her own mother's tumultuous and confusing history of success, violence, and ragged divorce—to better understand her own way forward. How will she break free from the legacy of her own childhood to start fresh with her own family?
Raw, candid, and galvanizing, More is a passionate and poignant testament to the enduring power of love and our lifelong journey to understand ourselves as we strive to always pursue more.
About the Author
Majka Burhardt is a professional climber, conservation entrepreneur, author and filmmaker. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Legado and the author of Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa, which was short-listed for the Banff Book Award. Her work and projects have been featured in The Economist, Outside Magazine, The Weather Channel, NPR and more, and her articles have appeared in publications including Afar, Men’s Health, Skiing Magazine, Backpacker, Patagonia, Alpinist, Women’s Adventure, The Explorers Journal, and Climbing. Majka is a climber and ambassador with Patagonia, an American Mountain Guides Association Rock Guide and Ice Instructor. She graduated from Princeton University cum laude and received a MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She and her husband, Peter Doucette, an internationally certified (AMGA/IFMGA) mountain guide, live in Jackson, New Hampshire with their twin children.
"Burhardt's boldly candid memoir charts a path into a new territory in adventure writing, with motherhood as the ultimate journey."
"If you’re looking for the usual motherhood memoir, look somewhere else. But if you’re looking for a raw memoir about the tensions between motherhood and the shifts in one’s identity and not sure how you feel about it, this is your book."
— Book Riot
"Heartfelt, raw, and unflinchingly honest. If you’re looking for something that speaks to your soul and gives you permission to dive headlong into whatever shape of a life you choose, More is the read you’re looking for."
— Climbing Magazine
"More is riveting. Burhardt's writing is so raw and immediate that her journey through motherhood, marriage, climbing, and building a conservation organization is our journey, day by day and indeed hour by hour. It is full of joy, fear, frustration, passion, possibility, and the intensity of love -- a woman's story, but above all an enthralling and motivating human story. Highly recommended!"
— Anne-Marie Slaughter, Author of Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
"The fierce candor of Majka Burhardt's beautiful memoir is something to behold, for in More she’s got an audience to whom she cannot lie: the book is addressed to her twin children, and in the clarifying light of that testimony all of life is reconfigured. How to be a daughter, a mother, a wife, an elite climber, a breadwinner, a woman of keen intelligence tangled up but trying to stay true, a citizen of the world. In Burhardt's story we get the untold tale of all mothers, the sorrow of the unsaid, the grief that trails after it, the choices made. You might think a mountain guide and world-class climber would be all bravado, but the model of courage in this memoir isn’t found in feats of daring, but down the aisle of a grocery store, or on the side of the road, where a woman cries in a minivan, then decides on love and joy, on difficulty, on more, and drives home."
— Charles D'ambrosio, New York Times notable book of the year author of The Point
“A professional rock climber shares the challenges of maintaining her career after becoming a mother. In this epistolary memoir, Burhardt relays the emotional challenges of becoming a mother while attempting to retain a sense of her own identity. Raw, passionate, and stinging.”
— Kirkus Reviews
"In a series of journal entries spanning from her early pregnancy in 2015 through the first four-and-a-half years of motherhood, Burhardt describes with heartrending candor a dilemma many of us will face: How do you maintain a core identity while embracing all-encompassing life changes? Both adrenaline seekers and armchair enthusiasts will admire Burhardt’s raw honesty and marvel at her incredible achievements."
"More is an intimate, frank, first-person account of the abrupt transition to motherhood, in the middle of a life already full of incredible risk, beauty, and passion. Parenthood changes everything, and it’s fascinating to accompany Majka Burhardt as she negotiates this new route and finds a deeper sense of herself along the way."
— Chelsea Conaboy, author of Mother Brain: How Neuroscience Is Rewriting the Story of Parenthood
"Majka gives a heartfelt and honest account of the questions and inner dialogue so many people face with motherhood and what comes next. For anyone questioning the balance of adventure and parenthood and marriage, More is a book that offers a sincere look into how to unwrap the past, present and future."
— Beth Rodden, top American rock climber