A Woman in the Polar Night

Christiane Ritter


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Pushkin Press
6 February 2024
ISBN: 9781805330899
224 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Jane Degras

‘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