Nerve

NERVE: Adventures in the Science of Fear
by Eva Holland
April 2020 – Penguin (Canada) / The Experiment (US)

A stunning work of experiential reportage illuminating what fear does to us and how it’s key to both staying and feeling alive.

We’re all afraid of something. For award-winning long-form journalist Eva Holland, two debilitating fears had long defined her life: the thought of losing her mother and acrophobia—the fear of heights. When the worst happens—her mother suddenly and unexpectedly passes away—she embarks on a quest to renegotiate her inhibiting relationship with fear.

In the vein of Mary Roach, Holland thrusts herself onto the front lines of daring adventure and cutting-edge research to explore universal human questions: How do we feel fear? And why? By jumping out of an airplane, learning to rock climb, speaking with leading scientists, and subjecting herself to the latest pharmacological and exposure therapies, she comes ever closer to knowing: Is there a better way to feel afraid?

By building up the nerve to face down her phobias, Holland shows us not only how to thoughtfully grapple with (and even perhaps overcome) our fears—but also how to live happier and feel more alive—by embracing them.

An award-winning journalist, Eva Holland is a correspondent for Outside magazine and a former editor at Up Here, Canada’s far north magazine. Her work has appeared in Esquire, Wired, Bloomberg, Pacific Standard, AFAR, Smithsonian, and National Geographic News; as well as the anthologies The Best Women’s Travel Writing and The Best Canadian Sports Writing. She lives in Canada’s Yukon Territory. www.evaholland.com