The White Dawn: An Eskimo Saga - James HoustonLondon: William Heinemann, 1971, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with a short, closed but untidy, tear to the head of the spine. Top edge of the text block lightly spotted. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Drawings; Maps to the endpapers and blanks;
From the cover: “On 16th May 1896 six men were lost from a whaling ship in the Canadian eastern Arctic, towed away into the ice by a harpooned whale. Three survived to reach land. This is their story — a novel based on true events related to the author during twelve years spent among the Eskimos.
Sarkak is the leader of a small flourishing Eskimo village; famed as a wily hunter, he is rich and commands the respect of his people. When he hears that three strangers have been found half dead in the snow, he orders that they be brought in. They are unlike any man the Eskimos have seen, but Sarkak and his people are touched and intrigued, and they tenderly nurse them back to health.
For a year the foreigners live among these brilliant hunters, carvers, singers, dancers and story-tellers; they move with them to their spring, summer, autumn and winter camps; they eat Eskimo food, they love Eskimo women — but they offer few skills in return. Soon the strain of their intrusion begins to tell. Suppressed resentments erupt and there is violence hitherto unknown among these peaceable people…
With humour and some pain James Houston writes of the early impact of southern ‘civilization’ and values on this highly developed but isolated people. Using the vivid simple language of an Eskimo narrator his novel is a superb piece of story-telling and a brilliant picture of the Eskimo way of life.”