Cover image for The white darkness / David Grann.
The white darkness / David Grann.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 2018.

Physical Description:
146 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour), colour map ; 19 cm
Personal Subject:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
919.8904092 GRA Book Adult General Collection
919.8904092 GRA Book Adult General Collection

On Order



By the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon , a powerful true story of adventure and obsession in the Antarctic, lavishly illustrated with color photographs

Henry Worsley was a devoted husband and father and a decorated British special forces officer who believed in honor and sacrifice. He was also a man obsessed. He spent his life idolizing Ernest Shackleton, the nineteenth-century polar explorer, who tried to become the first person to reach the South Pole, and later sought to cross Antarctica on foot. Shackleton never completed his journeys, but he repeatedly rescued his men from certain death, and emerged as one of the greatest leaders in history.

Worsley felt an overpowering connection to those expeditions. He was related to one of Shackleton's men, Frank Worsley, and spent a fortune collecting artifacts from their epic treks across the continent. He modeled his military command on Shackleton's legendary skills and was determined to measure his own powers of endurance against them. He would succeed where Shackleton had failed, in the most brutal landscape in the world.

In 2008, Worsley set out across Antarctica with two other descendants of Shackleton's crew, battling the freezing, desolate landscape, life-threatening physical exhaustion, and hidden crevasses. Yet when he returned home he felt compelled to go back. On November 13, 2015, at age 55, Worsley bid farewell to his family and embarked on his most perilous quest: to walk across Antarctica alone.

David Grann tells Worsley's remarkable story with the intensity and power that have led him to be called "simply the best narrative nonfiction writer working today." Illustrated with more than fifty stunning photographs from Worsley's and Shackleton's journeys, The White Darkness is both a gorgeous keepsake volume and a spellbinding story of courage, love, and a man pushing himself to the extremes of human capacity.

Author Notes

David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He graduated from Connecticut College in 1989, and earned a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and a master's degree from Boston College in creative writing. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic. His stories have been published in numerous anthologies of American writing. His books include The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon which won the Indies Choice award for the best nonfiction book of 2009, and Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Grann (The Lost City of Z) chronicles the story of Henry Worsley, a British special forces officer who was obsessed with the adventures of Ernest Shackleton and the exploration of Antarctica. Worsley not only read everything he could find about Shackleton, he collected artifacts and communicated with other individuals with the same interests and who, like Worsley, were related to those who served with Shackleton. Worsley's military career reflected his dedication and devotion to a cause, characteristics that propelled Worsley's own attempt to walk across Antarctica to the South Pole. He and two other descendants of Shackleton's crew successfully completed the journey in 2008. In 2015, at the age of 56, Worsley attempted to walk across Antarctica alone. VERDICT Grann's vivid, descriptive writing together with the passionate reading by Will Patton make this an outstanding listen. A modern-day hero dedicated to a goal is much needed in today's society. ["Solidifies Worsley as one of the great leaders and explorers of the modern age who has pushed the limits of human achievement, while also providing a fresh narrative of Shackleton's accomplishments": LJ 11/15/18 review of the Doubleday hc.]-Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Coll., Mt. Carmel © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.