Cold Coast

Shortlisted for the ARA Historical Fiction Prize In 1932, Wanny Woldstad, a young widow, travels to Svalbard, daring to enter the Norwegian trappers’ fiercely guarded male domain. She must prove to Anders Saeterdal, her trapping partner who makes no secret of his disdain, that a woman is fit for the task. Over the course of a Svalbard winter, Wanny and Saeterdal will confront polar bears, traverse glaciers, withstand blizzards and the dangers of sea ice, and hike miles to trap Arctic fox, all in the frigid darkness of the four-month polar night. For Wanny, the darkness hides her own deceptions that, if exposed, speak to the untenable sacrifice of a 1930s woman longing to fulfil a dream. Alongside the raw, confronting nature of the trappers’ work, is the story of a young blue Arctic fox, itself a hunter, who must eke out a living and navigate the trappers’ world if it is to survive its first Arctic winter.