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A Woman in the Polar Night

Regular price $15.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553656043
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Christiane Ritter, Jane Degras, Lawrence Millman, Travel & Adventure,
  • Published On: 04/10/2010
  • 224 Pages

In this extraordinary adventure, a reluctant visitor to the Arctic thrives in the awesome and unforgiving landscape.

In 1933 Christiane Ritter reluctantly followed her husband to Spitsbergen, an Arctic island north of Norway. For her, "the Arctic was just another word for freezing and forsaken solitude." The story that follows is compelling, the writing matter-of-fact yet magical.

Christiane Ritter was an Austrian painter who wrote A Woman in the Polar Night—her only book—after her return to Austria in 1934. Ritter died in 2000.


"A Woman in the Polar Night, Ritter's eloquent account of her experiences while overwintering with [her husband] in Grahuken on Wijdefjorden in the mid-1930s, also has the form of a journal . . . it is written mainly in a continual present tense. This allows the reader to follow her evolving perspective on life in the Far North - as well as on European culture viewed from a distance that gradually becomes mental as well as geographical." -Polar Research

"Frau Ritter lived on seal and bear meat, survived raging blizzards, solitude, and the long winter night. In the end, she discovered the typical Arctic philosophy . . . a little like the sensation just before freezing . . . that nothing really matters very much. An unpretentious but arresting book about life south of nowhere." -Time Magazine