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Catalog Archive / Spring 2019

Starvation Shore

“I loved the book and found it an engrossing, heartfelt, and compelling story. Laura Waterman should be congratulated for embarking on such a monumental task as relaying such an intricate history, and for doing it justice. ”
—Andrew Evans, author of The Black Penguin

In the summer of 1881, the twenty-five men of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition watched their ship sail for home from Discovery Harbor, just 500 miles from the North Pole. Commanded by the ambitious yet underqualified Adolphus W. Greely, this crew represented the first U.S. attempt to engage in scientific study of the Arctic. The frigid landscape offered the promise of great adventure—and unknown dangers. It was an expedition Greely eagerly anticipated long before it began. Standing there on that sunny summer afternoon, no one could have known how much would go wrong.

Drawing upon historic records, diaries, and letters of the men who inhabited the makeshift shelter they called Camp Clay, Laura Waterman reimagines the true story of polar explorers fighting for their lives and their sanity under dehumanizing conditions. This gripping, tragic tale of hunger, fear, and hope is told through the eyes of men at their worst—and most desperate—moments.


Portrait of author Laura Waterman is an author, environmentalist, and outdoor enthusiast. Her books include The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping, A Fine Kind of Madness: Mountain Adventures Tall and True, and Losing the Garden: The Story of a Marriage.




“Impressively distinctive narrative storytelling style that will grip the reader's rapt attention from first page to last.”
Midwest Book Review

“Waterman’s ambitious novel is a terrific read. She has imagined what is known as the Greely expedition in intimate detail, with her goal to make the time at Cape Clay vivid—the hunger, the final push that led the men to their terrible, unthinkable end. And she’s done it.”
—Susan Fox Rogers, editor of Antarctica: Life on the Ice

“The Greely Expedition is one of the great gothic tales from the heroic age of exploration. In lean and elegant prose buttressed by voluminous research, Laura Waterman captures the pathos, the grit, the heroism, and the resolve of this ambitious American undertaking that began with such promise and ended in such tragedy.”
—Hampton Sides, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette



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March 2019
LC: 2018045753 PS
384 pp. 6 x 9
1 map, 5 b/w illus.

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Casebound $27.95
ISBN 9780299323400
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