by Nathaniel Ian Miller
Reviewed by Linda:
Go online or get out an atlas and look up the enormous island of Spitsbergen located hundreds of miles north of Scandinavia. Here winter darkness lasts for months, "ice bears" (polar bears) roam the land, and only a few mining company towns and the rare trapper exist in this vast and isolated landscape. In his brilliant fiction debut, Nathanial Ian Miller has imagined the life of an actual person, a Swedish miner who early in the twentieth century, after a disfiguring injury in the mines, chose to move to the northern tip of the island and work a trap line far from the pitying eyes of his fellow human beings. A magnificent accomplishment.