How, in 1930, did Alfred Wegener, the son of minister from Berlin, find himself in the most isolated spot on earth, attempting to survive an unthinkably cold winter in the middle of Greenland? In All the Land, Jo Lendle sets out to chronicle Wegener’s extraordinary journey from his childhood in Germany to the most unforgiving corner of the planet.
As Lendle shows, Wegener’s life was anything but ordinary. Surrounded by children at the orphanage his parents ran, Wegener was driven by his scientific spirit in search not only of answers to big questions, but of solitude. Though Wegener’s life ended in tragedy during his long winter in Greenland, he left us with a scientific legacy: the theory of continental drift, mocked by his peers and only recognized decades after his death. Lendle gives us the story of this great adventurer, of the experiences that shaped him, resulting in a tale that is both thrilling and tender.
Jo Lendle is a German author and head of Hanser Verlag, Munich.
Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Klaus Merz, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Christine Angot, Pascal Bruckner and Jean-Luc Benoziglio. She has been awarded grants from PEN USA, PEN UK, and the NEA, a Max Geilinger Translation Grant for her translation of Philippe Jaccottet, the ACFNY Translation Prize and the 2017 PEN Translation Prize for her translation of the novel Angel of Oblivion by the Austrian writer Maja Haderlap, and most recently a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. She is Co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee and Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review. Her essays and reviews have appeared in a number of journals and newspapers including Bookforum, Partisan Review, The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, The Wall Street Journal and The American Scholar.