The Snow Whale: A Novel
by John Minichillo
Fiction, Trade Paperback Original
5.25 x 8 in / 266 pages
Publication Date: July 30, 2011
Recipient of the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) Gold Medal for Best Fiction from the U.S. West-Pacific Region
“He was Eskimo. He sat there for a moment in front of his computer with his eyes closed, and his smile spread as he imagined an expanse of wild snow. There was a sense of serenity coupled with the nothingness in his mind as the walls of the cubicle vanished from his awareness and he felt finally and for the first time, at home.”
When John Jacobs, a mild-mannered suburban office worker, takes a DNA test and discovers that he is part-Inuit, he so embraces his new identity that he declares it his Inupiat tribal right to set forth on a whale hunt.
So begins this postmodern satire, a seriocomic, quirky adventure set in the oldest continuously settled town in North America, in the North Slope of Alaska, on the frozen Chukchi Sea, literally at the top of the world, where the inhabitants and their ancestors have depended on subsistence whaling for thousands of years.
Minichillo cleverly dishes out a resounding twist on Melville’s classic that re-examines identity, race, and our connection to nature, all while poking fun at our contentment with heated socks in an era defined by global warming.
Praise for The Snow Whale
“In this wonderfully inventive debut novel…Minichillo has crafted a delightful tale that is subtle and outrageous in equal measure, and filled with “the wisdom of the-everything-and-the-nothing that is the Great Living Breath.”
“[W]ry, dry, pure hilarity all around.”
–Los Angeles Times
“Juxtaposing goofiness and grit, The Snow Whale gets at the heart of all that’s amiss in our hyper-plastic consumer culture even as it proves that, beneath it all, we can still find signs of life.”
–Small Press Reviews
“[A]n auspicious and hilarious debut novel. I haven’t chortled this much since Roger Boylan’s Killoyle.”
–Hey, Small Press!