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Afterlands: A Novel

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“A magnificent novel” based on the 1872 Polaris expedition that left crewmembers marooned on an ice floe off the coast of Greenland (The New York Times Book Review).

It is 1871. Nineteen men, women, and children, hailing from the United States, Germany, Denmark, England, and Sweden, and including two Inuit families, set out on Arctic explorer USS Polaris. But their voyage soon goes wrong. The ship founders, leaving its passengers adrift on an ice floe and, ultimately, stranded alone in the Arctic for six harrowing months.
Based on an incredible true story, Afterlands envisions in vivid detail both the life-and-death challenges of the harsh landscape and the violent human threats of nationalism, ethnicity, rivalries, suspicion, hunger, and love. Weaving together fiction and history, and drawing on the writings of one of the passengers on the actual journey, Lt. George Tyson, Steven Heighton’s “beautifully written” novel explores the shattering emotional and psychological consequences faced by those who survived (The Washington Post).
“An exceptionally satisfying adventure.” —Publishers Weekly

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