Steven
Heighton

Afterlands
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Afterlands

“A magnificent novel about the wreckage of history—both the history that happens to us and the versions of it we create… A sophisticated, densely layered fictional exploration of survival, love, betrayal and the personal cost of history… Heighton is an experienced adventurer in literary form… a sense of boldness and risk-taking infuses Afterlands… A novel of big ideas and beautiful language.”
—Bruce Barcott, New York Times Book Review

Afterlands, a novel published in Canada by Knopf Canada in Sept. 2005
• in the USA by Houghton Mifflin, 2006
• in the UK and Australia by Hamish/Hamilton (Penguin UK), 2006
• in the Netherlands by Ambo Anthos, 2006
• in Germany by Rowohlt, 2007
• Canadian paperback, Vintage Canada, Aug. 2006
• US paperback, Mariner Books, March 2007
• UK paperback, Penguin Books, April 2007

Optioned for film by Pall Grimsson and now in pre-production.
» Alcina Pictures

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

A Historical Novels Review Editors' Choice

A Best Book of 2007:
The Independent (UK)
Scotland on Sunday (UK)
The Glasgow Herald (UK)

A Best Book of 2006: Scotland on Sunday (UK)

A Best Book of 2005:
Globe & Mail
National Post
Vancouver Sun
Ottawa Citizen
Vancouver Province
The Social Edge.com

Finalist for the Evergreen Award, 2008

Cited in 100 Must-Read Historical Novels, Nick Rennison (Bloomsbury, 2010)

“This is a big, ambitious, literary adventure tale full of blood, gristle and soul… Heighton is a terrific writer [and] unusually bold with the form of his narrative.”
The Guardian (UK)

“Epic and subtle… extremely accomplished… [Heighton's] characters are fully drawn [and] brilliantly voiced… Combines genuine Arctic adventure with a slow-burning love story [and] a Conradian enquiry into man's dark heart.” —Independent on Sunday, five star review (UK)

“A triumph of a novel… A masterful blend of real-life historical account and modern storytelling… To try to contain this savage, beautiful tale into a few paragraphs is to do it an injustice. It is to be savoured… Steven Heighton has pulled off a masterpiece.” —Daily Express (UK)

“Unforgettable… This is a big, wide, deep book… an intensely felt fiction.” —Globe & Mail

“As expertly crafted as any recent work of fiction.” —Maclean's

“Skillfully constructed, beautifully written, told with a detachment that will put the reader in mind of Graham Greene, Afterlands is a superior example of a rare breed: the literary adventure story.” —Washington Post (USA)

“A great novel about love, ideals, and survival… A very Canadian masterwork.” —Deutschlandradio

“A magnificent adventure novel about love, betrayal, and the things people are capable of in extremity.” —Hamburger Morgenpost

“[Heighton's] dramatization of survival on the ice is so intense that the reader, sitting warm and dry, can feel the frost… far more than just a suspense novel.” —Berliner Literaturkritik

Compelling psychological drama… A gripping portrayal of human behaviour in extremis.” —Neue Zurcher Zeitung (Switzerland)

Afterlands is up there with the best work in the genre… This is gripping stuff… Heighton is a superb stylist, in complete control of the language.” —National Post

“Superb… One of the most gripping stories of the North to be found… There's nail-biting adventure, unforgettable character studies, lessons about the resurgence of nationalism in today's post-9/11 world… One of this year's top novels… A story that deserves to be told and retold.” —Ottawa Citizen

“A wonderful, whiteout epic that unpicks the triumph and tragedy of the human spirit.” —GQ (UK)

“Heighton churns history with a writerly imagination… [A] terrific go at the Great Arctic Novel.” —TIME

“Terrific… This novel's scale, its delight in detail and its psychological insight make it an exceptionally satisfying adventure. —Publishers Weekly (USA)

“A major work by any standards, uniting beautiful writing, unforgettable characters, and profound ideas on the lessons afforded by history.” —Books in Canada

“A terrific read… [The writing] has an understated excellence… Heighton's descriptions of life on the ice are magnificent [and] he excels in telling a tale of hardship, madness, love, loyalty and sacrifice.” —Irish Examiner (Sunday Business Post)

“Moving and artfully understated… For the reader, all [the] pieces fit.” —Seattle Times (USA)

“Heighton is a wordsmith and sentence-sculptor of the old school… [In Afterlands] he strikes a match between form and content so apt that the author becomes, in the best of ways, invisible… It takes a rare combination of discipline and imagination to do such stories [as this] full justice, and Afterlands proves beyond any doubt that Heighton has got it.” —Montreal Gazette

“[A] great story… a numbingly dramatic, visually stunning tour de force.” —Kirkus Reviews (USA)

“Heighton is a masterful story-teller and one of Canada's finest writers… Afterlands is his most ambitious undertaking, and it works. Like Wayne Johnston in The Navigator of New York, his blend of fact and fancy is plausible and… handled with delicacy… This is by far the most compelling treatment of the Polaris story to date.” —Kenn Harper, Arctic Book Review (USA)

“An elegant writer… [Afterlands] is gripping.” —St Louis Post-Dispatch (USA)

“Heighton burrows into the psychological and social effects of extreme endurance, delivering a shattering read.” —Men's Journal (USA)

“Breathtaking… A textual construct of impressive nuance and intricacy… A gripping adventure story that is also a complex meditation on the relation between history and the historical novel.” —Literary Review of Canada

“A thrilling read.” —Douglas Glover

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