Saturday, March 1, 2014

Eden of the North
Signe Rink
Translated by L.S. Johanson
September 2014
4.25 x 7.5", 192 pages, $19.95

First english translation of this 19th century novel tracing relationship between traditional Greenlandic life and the culture of their Danish colonizers.

These first hand accounts of Greenlanders have rarely been recorded. Written in 1887, with exquisite poetic detail, the dynamics driving ritual, domestic affairs and women’s place in society are described as never before. 

Signe Miller (nee Rink,1836-1909) was born and raised in Greenland. At 14 she was sent to Denmark to be educated. While there she met and married Johannes Rink, the geologist. Through her husband, they returned to Greenland and began many initiatives, including the first newspaper (Atuagagdliutit, 1861- still extant) and in depth studies of the Greenlandic culture (The Eskimo tribes: their distributions and characteristics, especially in regard to language, with a comparative vocabulary and a sketch-map)

This novel was written after Signe returned to Denmark in 1883, as well as two others in 1886 and 1902 (Eden of the North, 1887). She remains the first female interpreter of Greenlandic culture and maintains a poetic style only achieved by the deepest of empathies developed after many years of living and working among Inuit as a woman and a scientist.

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