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Bruce BarcottThe Polaris expedition remains a minor footnote in the annals of Arctic exploration, but Heighton has used it to create a novel of big ideas and beautiful language. It can't have been easy for a poet to exercise restraint in a 400-page book set in the Arctic (so many ways to describe white!), but he picks his moments well, offering quiet bits of dazzle in perfect moderation. The crewmen sleeping head-to-foot are "dueling pistols in a lined case." The Inuit woman Hannah, the object of both Tyson and Kruger's unrequited affections, speaks English well but haltingly, "each word placed as carefully as a foot along a seacliff path."
— The New York Times