Brother in Ice

by Alicia Kopf. Translator: Mara Faye Lethem

‘She thought that it was precisely when things get uncomfortable or can’t be shown that something interesting comes to light. That is the point of no return, the point that must be reached, the point you reach after crossing the border of what has already been said, what has already been seen. It’s cold out there.’

This hybrid novel—part research notes, part fictionalised diary, and part travelogue—uses the stories of polar exploration to make sense of the protagonist’s own concerns as she comes of age as an artist, a daughter, and a sister to an autistic brother. Conceptually and emotionally compelling, it advances fearlessly into the frozen emotional lacunae of difficult family relationships. Deserved winner of multiple awards upon its Catalan and Spanish publication, Brother in Ice is a richly rewarding journey into the unknown.


‘A writer, Kopf shows us, is a kind of polar explorer . . . From the outset the narrative establishes its twin points of reference: the north and south poles . . . But Kopf gradually collapses every binary she sets up; the poles are not fixed, but drift with the ice.’ - Lauren Elkin, The Guardian

'This is fast, fluid, exciting narrative; random, philosophical, alive, questioning, full of precise set pieces, sensations, regret, emotion, self-doubt, defiance, curiosity and a feel for history, fact and human behaviour . . . BROTHER IN ICE is a living book and one to give your most discerning friends.' - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

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Publication Date

April 2018


Brother in Ice on the And Other Stories website