Dec 10, 2019

Advent Calendar: 10th Wormhole

Our tenth wormhole leads into the bitter cold, into the mouth of the Wolf and the Whale ... (meanwhile, on our German website, Caro is recommending a German YA classic).

Jordanna Max Brodsky
The Wolf in the Whale 
The Wolf in the Whale  is a novel set in the Arctic, around the time of the first viking exploration  of Greenland and North America. What Brodky attempts is to open us up to the imagination of the Inuit and the challenges to their notions of the world which the encounters with the european strangers brought about. She manages to present the Inuit not as a monolithic foreign, “other” culture, but as diverse, complex people with different ways of life and outlooks, something other authors often fail at when writing about non-european areas of the world and the people that inhabit them. The sources and background info at the end of the book lay open the archaeological foundations of Brodsky’s narration and thus prove that her novel is less based on a romanticized image than on historical research and the Norse sagas, which also sets it apart from most medieval-based fantasy.
The story of the shaman Omat and the viking Brandr is therefore much more than a traditional fantasy plot, but aspires to reconstruct a historical moment of radical change, in which world views, ways of life and whole imaginative universes clash and crash, and after which nothing can remain as it has been. As such, it is a fascinating tale for everyone interested in the Arctic, in history, or in fantasy that is not based in some murky version of the european Middle Ages.

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