Lists, Verdicts, & Reviews
The Washington Post
“Shelby is very good on social interactions at the end of the earth, and South Pole Station crackles with energy."
Heller McAlprin, National Public Radio
"Shelby's writing is pithy and funny, and her band of eccentrics are scrappy loners who are best suited to the company of other loners.... In this unusual, entertaining first novel, Ashley Shelby combines science with literature to make a clever case for scientists' and artists' shared conviction that "the world could become known if only you looked hard enough."
Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“Shelby makes serious statements about scientific quests, climate change, politics and people in extremis, but it's the "Polies" who undergird the story...With South Pole Station's satire, science, wry wit and warmth, Ashley Shelby has written one of the best novels of the year.
The New York Times
"A ramblingly entertaining first novel...day-to-day dramas provide a vivid notion of what it's like to live in a frigid landscape that's dark for six months of the year, 'a place where you went to become unreachable.'"
John Abraham, The Guardian
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[South Pole Station] is the first fictional book in a decade that I didn't want to put down...It is funny, with really quick-witted humor that made me laugh."
"This is a fascinating novel, loaded with interesting history of Antarctic exploration, current scientific operations, and the living and working conditions of those folks brave enough to endure six months of darkness and six months of daylight."
“Shelby's first novel eschews easy choices and treats interpersonal relations, grief, science, art, and political controversy with the same deft, humorous hand. Readers will find characters to love, suspect, and identify with among Cooper's fellow Polies and won't forget them easily."
"Set in the vast yet claustrophobic reality of Antarctica, the novel’s first delight is in its vivid depiction of sub-zero life...The second delight is the clear message that science is not belief. It’s science."
"An unflinching yet loving look at family in all its forms...you’ll wish you could spend more than just the one winter with its crew."
"Few places evoke feelings of isolation and existential crisis like the South Pole. In this terrific debut, Ashley Shelby achieves not only that but also a grand sense of comedy...[South Pole Station] is a lovely, satirical, and emotionally complex novel about coming to terms with heartbreak and re-finding one’s self through art."
South Pole Station can be found at all major retailers and independent booksellers. If your bookseller doesn't have it on hand, he or she will order it for you--guaranteed. Whenever possible, please support independent booksellers. They are a foundational part of our democracy and provide community spaces at a time when such spaces are shrinking.
If you're interested in receiving a review copy or having Ashley speak or appear at a conference, please contact Josh Zajdman at Picador. For rights or translation inquiries, please contact Curtis Brown Ltd or ICM. Ashley is represented by Lisa Bankoff at Bankoff Collaborative. Click here if you'd like to contact Ashley directly--though be forewarned that while she always responds to polite e-mails, angry missives about penguins, the representation of artists in the book, disputes about climate science, and doubt about the need for firefighting equipment in Antarctica usually go unanswered, unless she's feeling particularly sassy.