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A Woman in the Polar Night

by Christiane Ritter - £12.99  Pushkin Press (2024)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781805330899 | ISBN 10: 1805330896

‘Conjures the rasp of the ski runner, the scent of burning blubber and the rippling iridescence of the Northern Lights’ Sara Wheeler
 
‘[An] astonishing, haunting memoir’ Isabella Tree
 
The rediscovered classic memoir – the mesmerizingly beautiful account of one woman’s year spent living in a remote hut in the Arctic.
 
In 1934, the painter Christiane Ritter leaves her comfortable home for a year with her husband on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen. On arrival she is shocked to realise that they are to live in a tiny ramshackle hut on the shores of a lonely fjord, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement.
 
At first, Christiane is horrified by the freezing cold, the bleak landscape and the lack of supplies… But after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic’s harsh, otherworldly beauty.
 
This luminous classic memoir tells of her inspiring journey to freedom and fulfilment in the adventure of a lifetime.
 
Part of the Pushkin Press Classics series: timeless storytelling by icons of literature, hand-picked from around the globe
 
Translated by Jane Degras
 
With a foreword by Sara Wheeler
 
Born in 1897, CHRISTIANE RITTER was an Austrian artist and author. She wrote A Woman in the Polar Night on her return to Austria from Spitsbergen in 1934. It has since become a classic of travel writing, never going out of print in German and being translated into seven other languages. ‘A year in the Arctic should be compulsory to everyone,’ she would say in her later years. ‘Then you will come to realise what’s important in life and what isn’t.’ Ritter died in Vienna in 2000 at the age of 103.

(Price & availability last checked: February 2024)

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