Tag Archive for: Antarctica

 

A mother and scientist trapped in an earthquake-ravaged Antarctica. A daughter fleeing rising waters in Florida. A father and son escaping tidal waves in Boston.

When an earthquake sends the Thwaites glacier crashing into the ocean, the world begins a sudden, violent transformation. Kathryn, a seismologist wintering in Antarctica’s McMurdo base, must survive the crumbling continent after discovering unprecedented seismic activity. Meanwhile, her family struggles to escape raging tsunamis and violently rising global seas halfway across the world.

Can Kathryn and her family find their way back together when the earth itself revolts beneath their feet and the oceans between them expand?

In 2016, Sandy Winterbottom embarked on an epic tall-ship voyage from the busy port of Montevideo to the emptiness of the Antarctic Peninsula. Through vivid and vital descriptions we follow her journey across the vast southern oceans, sensing the ‘feeling of lightness as the ship falls away into the trough of a wave’ and the ‘toothpaste-fresh’ hue of the sea. But sailing alongside her is the shadow of Anthony Ford, a 15 year old from Edinburgh, whose grave Winterbottom encounters on the tiny island of South Georgia, leading to an obsession that diverts her adventure into the brutal world of industrial-scale whaling. The two stories culminate in the unlikely true-life tale of a vegan who ends up befriending the men who partook in the slaughter of two million whales.

In a world that seems increasingly divided, The Two-Headed Whale reminds us of our common humanity and resurrects a history of environmental exploitation that holds crucial parallels with the modern day climate emergency.

Zeno Hintermeier is a scientist working as a travel guide on an Antarctic cruise ship, encouraging the wealthy to marvel at the least explored continent and to open their eyes to its rapid degradation. It is a troubling turn in the life of an idealistic glaciologist.

Now in his early sixties, Zeno bewails the loss of his beloved glaciers, the disintegration of his marriage, and the foundering of his increasingly irrelevant career.

Troubled in conscience and goaded by the smug complacency of the passengers in his charge, he starts to plan a desperate gesture that will send a wake-up call to an overheating world. The Lamentations of Zeno is an extraordinary evocation of the fragile and majestic wonders to be found at a far corner of the globe, written by a novelist who is a renowned travel writer.

Poignant and playful, the novel recalls the experimentation of high-modernist fiction without compromising a limpid sense of place or the pace of its narrative.

It is a portrait of a man in extremis, a haunting and at times irreverent tale that approaches the greatest challenge of our age – perhaps of our entire history as a species – from an impassioned human angle.

 

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