Afterlands by Steven Heighton

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Synopsis

In 1871, nineteen men, women, and children, voyaging on the Arctic explorer USS Polaris found themselves cast adrift on an ice floe as their ship began to founder. Based on one of the most remarkable events in polar history, Afterlands tells the haunting story of this small society of castaways -- a white and a black American, five Germans, a Dane, a Swede, an Englishman, and two Inuit families -- and the harrowing six months they spend marooned in the Arctic, struggling to survive both the harsh elements and one another. As the group splinters into factions along ethnic and national lines, rivalries -- complicated by sexual desire, unrequited love, extreme hunger, and suspicion -- begin to turn violent. Steven Heighton's provocative novel fills in the blanks of the Polaris's documented history and explores the shattering emotional and psychological consequences faced by those who survive.
 

About Steven Heighton

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Steven Heighton is the author of the novel Afterlands, which has appeared in six countries; was a "New York Times Book Review" Editors' Choice along with a best book of the year selection in ten publications in Canada, the US, and the UK; and has been optioned for film. He is also the author of The Shadow Boxer, a Canadian bestseller and a "Publishers Weekly" Book of the Year. His work has been translated into ten languages, and his poems and stories have appeared in the "London Review of Books," "Poetry," "Tin House," "The Walrus," "Europe," "Agni," "Poetry London," "Brick," "Best English Stories," and many others. Heighton has won several awards and has been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Trillium Award, and Britain's W.H. Smith Award.
 
Published February 5, 2007 by Mariner Books. 417 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Afterlands

The New York Times

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In 1871, 19 members of the Polaris expedition became trapped on an ice floe. And that was just the beginning.

Feb 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Afterlands

The New York Times

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In 1871, 19 members of the Polaris expedition became trapped on an ice floe. And that was just the beginning.

Feb 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Afterlands

The Guardian

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Through the years after their Arctic misadventure, Heighton follows both Tyson and the far more sympathetic Kruger as they try to unravel the knots of themselves, while the themes of their struggles on the ice are repeated to the ends of their lives.

Jul 21 2006 | Read Full Review of Afterlands

Reader Rating for Afterlands
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