A Woman in the Polar Night

Front Cover
University of Alaska Press, 2010 - Travel - 215 pages
14 Reviews

For most of us, the Arctic conjures up images of freezing and forsaken solitude. Hence, Austrian painter Christiane Ritter was at best ambivalent when her husband asked her to join him on the small Arctic island of Spitsbergen in a tarpaulin-covered hut sixty miles from the nearest neighbor. Yet his descriptions were filled not with cold and hardship but tales of remarkable wildlife, alluring light shows, and treks over water and ice. Won over, Ritter joined her husband and grew to love life on this small isle off Norway's coast, and in this charming memoir she describes her experiences, with insight and wry humor. Whether or not you ever plan a trip to the Arctic, A Woman in the Polar Night offers thoughtful reflections on isolation and the place the natural world holds in the human psyche.

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Review: A Woman in the Polar Night

User Review  - Goodreads

A refreshing change from the "man-survives-against-the-hostile-elements" type of Arctic narrative—-as interesting as those can be. She was a good prose writer by the standards of any time, and her memoir was surprisingly absorbing. Read full review

Review: A Woman in the Polar Night

User Review  - Rebecca A. - Goodreads

In 1933, Christiane Ritter went to the Arctic and stayed with her husband there for a year. And wrote this amazing book, about a place which enters her soul. Read full review

About the author (2010)


Christiane Ritter was an Austrian painter. She wrote A Woman in the Polar Night after her return to Austria in 1934 and the original German edition is still in print.

Bibliographic information