SOUTH POLE STATION

Ashley Shelby

Do you have digestion problems due to stress? Do you have problems with authority? How many alcoholic drinks do you consume a week? Would you rather be a florist or a truck driver?

These are some of the questions that determine if you have what it takes to survive at South Pole Station, a place with an average temperature of -54°F and no sunlight for six months a year. Cooper Gosling has just answered five hundred of them. Her results indicate she is abnormal enough for Polar life.

Cooper’s not sure if this is an achievement,

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Do you have digestion problems due to stress? Do you have problems with authority? How many alcoholic drinks do you consume a week? Would you rather be a florist or a truck driver?

These are some of the questions that determine if you have what it takes to survive at South Pole Station, a place with an average temperature of -54°F and no sunlight for six months a year. Cooper Gosling has just answered five hundred of them. Her results indicate she is abnormal enough for Polar life.

Cooper’s not sure if this is an achievement, but she knows she has nothing to lose. Unmoored by a recent family tragedy, she’s adrift at thirty and—despite her early promise as a painter—on the verge of sinking her career. So she accepts her place in the National Science Foundation’s Artists & Writers Program and flees to Antarctica, where she encounters a group of misfits motivated by desires as ambiguous as her own. The only thing the Polies have in common is the conviction that they don’t belong anywhere else. Then a fringe scientist arrives, claiming climate change is a hoax. His presence will rattle this already-imbalanced community, bringing Cooper and the Polies to the center of a global controversy and threatening the ancient ice chip they call home.

A warmhearted comedy of errors set in the world’s harshest place, South Pole Station is a wry and witty debut novel about the courage it takes to band together when everything around you falls apart.

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  • Picador
  • Hardcover
  • July 2017
  • 9781250112828

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About Ashley Shelby

Ashley ShelbyAshley Shelby is a former editor at Penguin and a prize-winning writer and journalist. She received her MFA from Columbia University and is the author of Red River Rising: The Anatomy of a Flood and the Survival of an American City, a narrative nonfiction account of the record-breaking flood that, in 1997, devastated Grand Forks, North Dakota. The short story that became the basis for South Pole Station is a winner of the Third Coast Fiction Prize; this is her first novel. She lives in the Twin Cities with her family.

Author Website

Praise

“I was dazzled by South Pole Station—a terrifically witty, insightful, and satisfying novel, peopled by memorable misfits thrown together in a hothouse of conflicting interests in the frozen Antarctic.”Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

“Ashley Shelby’s South Pole Station is an absolute treasure. She’s somehow written an infectious beach read about the coldest place on earth AND a stunning treatise on family, grief, creativity, and science. This book hits all the best notes of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and Catch 22 and has the warmth and wit to carve its way into even the iciest of hearts.”John Jodzio, author of Knockout

“Prepare for the big chill! Ashley Shelby’s mismatched cast of characters are all powerfully drawn to the South Pole, each for their own reason; Shelby charts their respective courses with sensitivity, intelligence and grace. Here is a brave, original novel about leaving the known and familiar world in order to find it again.”Yona Zeldis McDonough, author The House on Primrose Pond

South Pole Station is the brilliant story of artist and lost soul Cooper Gosling. In Antarctica, she meets the misfits and margin-dwellers with whom she has to navigate the webs of belief and knowledge, grief and hope, loneliness and love. South Pole Station reminds us that sometimes we have to go to the end of the earth to find what is within us.”Frank Bures, author of The Geography of Madness