Smilla's Sense of Snow presents one of the toughest heroines in modern fiction. Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen is part Inuit, but she lives in Copenhagen. She is thirty-seven, single, childless, moody, and she refuses to fit in. Smilla's six-year-old Inuit neighbor, Isaiah, manages only with a stubbornness that matches her own to befriend her. When Isaiah falls off a roof and is killed, Smilla doesn't believe it's an accident. She has seen his tracks in the snow, and she knows about snow. She decides to investigate and discovers that even the police don't want her to get involved. But opposition appeals to Smilla. As all of Copenhagen settles down for a quiet Christmas, Smilla's investigation takes her from a fervently religious accountant to a tough-talking pathologist and an alcoholic shipping magnate and into the secret files of the Danish company responsible for extracting most of Greenland's mineral wealth - and finally onto a ship with an international cast of villains bound for a mysterious mission on an uninhabitable island off Greenland. To read Smilla's Sense of Snow is to be taken on a magical, nerve-shattering journey - from the snow-covered streets of Copenhagen to the awesome beauty of the Arctic ice caps. A mystery, a love story, and an elegy for a vanishing way of life, Smilla's Sense of Snow is a breathtaking achievement, an exceptional feat of storytelling.
Peter Høeg is an internationally renowned Danish author who entered the North American literary scene with Smilla's Sense of Snow. Since its publication, Høeg's new works, such as The Woman and the Ape - have appeared in English translations alongside older works such as Tales of the Night. Once a sailor, and currently an actor and dancer as well as a writer, Høeg lives in Copenhagen.