"A Dream in Polar Fog" is at once a cross-cultural journey, an ethnographic fable and chronicle of the Chukchi people and a breathtaking adventure story. It is the story of John MacLellan, a young Canadian sailor who is left behind by his ship, stranded among the native people of the arctic coast. It is the story of one Chukchi community that adopts a crippled stranger and teaches him to live as a "true human being." During the long winter, John comes to know his new companions--first as untutored primitives, then in the romantic light of noble savages and finally as a real people who share the best and worst of human traits with his own kind. Tragedy strikes, and a life is lost and re-given; a man rises to take the place of a boy; wounds are healed with compassion, honesty and love. And when difficult times loom ahead, it is his new family that John will fight to preserve. Rytkheu's empathetic voice guides us across the magnificent landscape of the North and reveals all the complexity and beauty of a vanishing world.
Born in Uelen, a village in the Chukotka region, Yuri Rytkheu has sailed the Bering Sea, worked on Arctic geological expeditions and hunted whale in arctic waters, in addition to authoring over 10 novels and collections of stories. In the 1950s, Rytkheu emerged as not only a writer of considerable literary talent, but as the unique voice of a small national minority--the Chukchi people. His novels and short stories about Chukotka and the Chukchi introduced generations of readers to the history and mythology of those who call one of the most majestic and inhospitable environments on earth their home. Bestsellers in Germany and Switzerland, Rytkheu's works are also well-loved in Japan, Denmark and France.