In Defence of Darkness

In Defence of Darkness

Sigri Sandberg

Original title: Mørke. Stjerner, redsel og fem netter på Finse
Publisher: Samlaget, 2019
Genre: Narrative Non Fiction
Pages: 146 pages

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What are the effects of all this artificial light on humans, animals, and every living organism?

The wintertime in Norway is long and dark. Or is it? Two-thirds of the inhabitants of this far-northern land – and 80 per cent in North America can no longer see the Milky Way, our galaxy, at night. Increasingly more street lamps, buildings, and, screens light up the sky.

For as long as she can remember, Sigri Sandberg has been afraid of the dark. To discover the roots of her fear and probe the darkness, she undertakes a solo voyage to the mountains in the dead of winter. As she journeys, Sandberg introduces us to another woman, Christiane Ritter, who spent a long winter in a trapper’s hut on Svalbard in 1934.

Sandberg writes about what happens to the body at night. She touches on sleep, stars, black holes, northern lights, and the global struggle to maintain a night sky. Could it be that the darkness Sandberg has always feared, is much more important than we may have thought?

Foreign rights

German: btb Randomhouse
Hebrew: Asia Publishers
Dutch: Uitgeverij Oevers
Polish: Kobiece
Italian: Rizzoli
Czech: Portál
British: Little, Brown Book Group /Sphere
French: Les Editions Noir sur Blanc
Finnish: Nemo Kustannus
Croatian: TIM Press
Spanish: Capitán Swing Libros

Sandberg’s book is both topical and beautiful, joining the ranks of other works of non-fiction that highlight the importance of nature, silence and now darkness. 6 out of 6 stars

Janne Bjlrgan, Bergensavisen

An outstanding book about darkness, stillness and the lack thereof. A factual work interspersed with the author’s own experiences. Simply brilliant. It is impossible not to be enthralled by this little book. Five stars.

Kristin Monsen, bookseller in Norli, Lagunen

Sigri Sandberg

Sigri sandberg portrett
Photo:Steinar Rorgemoen

For over twenty years, Sigri Sandberg has worked for various Norwegian media outlets. She spent several years living on the arctic island of Svalbard and has written fifteen books about nature, wilderness philosophy, climate, and polar regions. Sandberg has published 18 books to date, An Ode to Darkness (2019), her previous narrative non-fiction on light – pollution is sold in 11 languages.

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The Fjord - A Long Row Home

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