A Woman in the Polar Night (Pushkin Press Classics) (Paperback)

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A Woman in the Polar Night (Pushkin Press Classics) By Christiane Ritter, Jane Degras (Translated by), Sara Wheeler (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Christiane Ritter, Jane Degras (Translated by), Sara Wheeler (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

Imagine spending a year in the artic as a woman in 1934. This memoir was fascinating and written with wonder in the author's heart. I found it both perspective-setting, and an absolute escape from the nonsense I consider important in my day to day life.

— Em


“An epic story, elegantly told and full of mystery.” — Maggie Shipstead, author of Great Circle

A rediscovered classic memoirthe mesmerizingly beautiful account of one woman's year spent living in a remote hut in the Arctic

“A refreshing voice in the canon of Arctic literature. . . charms its reader with its simple candor. Readers will delight in Ritter’s frank impressions and candid remarks.  – The Wall Street Journal

This rediscovered classic memoir tells the incredible tale of a woman defying society's expectations to find freedom and peace in the adventure of a lifetime.

In 1934, the painter Christiane Ritter leaves her comfortable life in Austria and travels to the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen, to spend a year there with her husband. She thinks it will be a relaxing trip, a chance to 'read thick books in the remote quiet and, not least, sleep to my heart's content', but when Christiane arrives she is shocked to realize that they are to live in a tiny ramshackle hut on the shores of a lonely fjord, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement, battling the elements every day, just to survive.

At first, Christiane is horrified by the freezing cold, the bleak landscape the lack of equipment and supplies... But as time passes, after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months on end of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic's harsh, otherworldly beauty, gaining a great sense of inner peace and a new appreciation for the sanctity of life.

About the Author

Born in 1897, Christiane Ritter was an Austrian activist 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. Christiane Ritter died in Vienna in 2000 at the age of 103.

Praise For…

“An epic story, elegantly told and full of mystery. Even though I could never hope to match her bravery and aplomb, Ritter made me long to decamp at once for the harshest and wildest corners of the earth.” — Maggie Shipstead, author of Great Circle
Product Details
ISBN: 9781805330899
ISBN-10: 1805330896
Publisher: Pushkin Press Classics
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Pushkin Press Classics