Thomas Pynchon once wrote, “Everyone has an Antarctic.” He was writing about Ernest Shackleton, the famed polar explorer who never reached his objective, yet whose stunning leadership and fortitude saved the lives of every one of his men, after over a year stuck in the Antarctic. 100 years later, a British explorer heard that same siren calling from the frozen continent, and set out to follow in his hero’s footsteps.
In his book, The White Darkness, celebrated author David Grann profiles the middle-aged British soldier who put his life at risk three times in his pursuit of Shackleton. Retracing his first, second, and final expeditions, Grann paints the inspiring and brutal portrait of a man wrestling with ambition, pride, family obligations, and ghosts from the distant past.
David Grann is the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes and Killers of the Flower Moon, which won an Edgar Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He’s written for the Washington Post, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003. We’ve been lucky to host Grann previously on Reader’s Corner to talk about his celebrated book, The Lost City of Z. Grann will also be reading at The Cabin’s “Readings & Conversations” series in March.