Most people have problems. Some people literally goto the end of the Earth to avoid them. 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 the questions that decide who has what it takes to live at South Pole Station, a place with an average temperature of -54degreeF and no sunlight for six months a year. Cooper Gosling has just answered five hundred of them. Her results indicate she is strange 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.
ASHLEY 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. She lives in the Twin Cities with her family.