Andrea Pitzer is a journalist who loves to unearth lost history. Her third book, Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World, narrates the three Arctic voyages of Dutch navigator William Barents, who wound up stranded on Nova Zembla during the winter of 1596. It was published in January 2021 by Scribner.
Events and ideas that were once common knowledge but have fallen from public memory fascinate her, as does humanity’s tendency not to learn from history. After archival research and reporting on four continents, she feels most at home in libraries or on a boat in the far North.
She received an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1994, and later studied at MIT and Harvard as an affiliate of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. In 2009, she founded Nieman Storyboard, the narrative nonfiction site for the foundation, which she edited until 2012. Before that, she was a freelance journalist, a music critic, a portrait painter, a French translator, a record store manager, and a martial arts and self-defense instructor (but not all at the same time). She grew up in West Virginia and currently lives with her family near Washington, DC.