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Ashley Shelby’s novel, South Pole Station, tells the story of an acclaimed young painter, Cooper, whose career had been on a downward spiral concomitant with the appearance of her brother’s schizophrenia symptoms which led to his suicide. As the novel begins, she is on a path to win an artist’s fellowship to the U.S. South Pole scientific facility. Shelby insightfully explores a variety of themes including the effects of severe mental illness on family, interpersonal interactions in a closed environment, the emotional nature of the politics of science, and the vicissitudes of intergenerational fealty and rivalry.

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