From the author of the bestselling THE BINDING CHAIR comes an extraordinary tale of desire set in the snowfields of 1917 Alaska. Bigelow is a scientist, meticulous and obsessive, a man of tightly coiled passion. Stationed in the tiny frontier town of Anchorage, Alaska in 1915, he builds a weather observatory, a kite big enough to penetrate the heavens, carrying instruments to track the great storms that scour the land. He is distracted from his labours when he meets a native Aleut woman, a stitcher of furs, whose muteness calls up in him an almost unbearable longing. Her ferocious self-containment begins to seem to him more and more animal - and yet the more her silence pushes him away he burns to possess her. And when she disappears, he begins to believe he'll die if he never sees her again...An incendiary tale set against the sear and haunting landscape of the Great North, THE SEAL WIFE merges the enchantment of myth with a taut and chilling story of erotic compulsion.