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Author(s): Cynthia Reeves

Location(s): Svalbard, Norway

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1937-1938 as well as 1947

THE LAST WHALER is an elegiac meditation on the will to survive under extreme conditions. Tor, a beluga whaler, and his wife, Astrid, a botanist specializing in Arctic flora, are stranded during the dark season of 1937-38 at his remote whaling station when they misjudge ice conditions and fail to rendezvous with the ship meant to carry them back to their home in southern Norway. Beyond enduring the Arctic winter’ s twenty-four-hour night, the couple must cope with the dangers of polar bears, violent storms, and bitter cold as well as Astrid’ s unexpected pregnancy. THE LAST WHALER concerns the impact of humans on pristine environments, the isolation of mental illness, the sustenance of religious faith, and the solace of storytelling.

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