Clare Dudman   Clare Dudman


Read some Reviews or an Extract
On the twelfth of May 1931, 118 miles inland on Greenland’s ice sheet the body of a man called Alfred Wegener was found in the snow. There was a little frost bite on his nose and hands, but nothing to prevent travel and nothing to say how or when he died...

WEGENER’S JIGSAW gives a fictionalised account of the heroic life of Alfred Wegener. His accomplishments were quite astonishing: he established how craters were formed on the moon, how raindrops form in clouds, and how to predict the site of meteorite impact craters. He also mapped unexplored areas of the Greenland and established many world records in Arctic travel and aeronautics. But the main reason that Alfred Wegener is remembered today is for his development and defence of his contentious theory of Continental Drift. He received widespread ridicule for his ideas and tragically did not live to witness its general acceptance by the scientific community in the 1960s.

WEGENER'S JIGSAW aims, for the first time in English, to present a full account of this important scientist's ideas in a lyrical and accessible way.

To read an extract from Wegener's Jigsaw please click here.


"A first-person narrative in Wegener's voice, this story artfully captures his Arctic expeditions and evokes a life of scientific obsession and discovery."
Ihsan Taylor New York Times Paperback Row. Paperbacks of Particular interest. 10th April 2005

"Impressive first novel about German scientist and Arctic explorer Alfred Wegener (1880-1930)... Dudman's description — whether of an ice-quake, a dockside farewell or a lecture going wrong — brings Wegener alive on every page."
Michael Upchurch Seattle Times Paperback Review. 27th March 2005.

"Dudman has written a beautiful first person narrative of this passionate man’s life."
Anthea Lawson, The Times. 23rd April 2003

"It is an ambitious undertaking - beautifully, sinuously written outstanding delight."
Tom Adair, Scotland on Sunday, 30th March 2003

"...a snowbound narrative that rates a place alongside Jack London, Peter Høeg and Andrea Barrett.."
Rachel Hore, The Guardian. 26th April 2003

"....A splendid vehicle for a depiction of a time, not so long ago, when science could still cost you your life."
Jon Turney, The Independent. 24th May 2003

"combines the Teutonic intensity of The Magic Mountain with the cold, austere locations of The Call of the Wild…The animus of motivation, the thrill of adventure and the terrifying beauty of a forbidding region are all described with profound insight."
David Isaacson. The Daily Telegraph, 20th September 2003.

"Clare Dudman’s enchanting fictionalised account of his life is narrated by Wegener himself."
Alan Rafferty, The Observer, 21st Sepember 2003

"....Dudman has taken a relatively obscure historical tale and wound it into a fascinating thriller."
Gavin Daly, The Sunday Business Post, Dublin. 16th March 2003

"...a study of obsession as vividly imagined and subtly askew as Wegener’s passion itself."
Megan Gressor, The Sydney Morning Herald. 29th March 2003

"... Clare Dudman has the rare gift of conveying the poetic leap of imagination that turns empirical imagination into theory... "
Sally Blakeney. The Bulletin with Newsweek. Australia. 21st May 2003

"..a great dramatisation of an Old World adventurer whose insatiable desire for knowledge and lust to experience nature first hand basically changed the way we see the world."
Steve Woodman, Central Coast Herald & Newcastle Herald, Australia, 21st June 2003.

"...Anyone, reader or writer, who values superb writing should also read this book."
Geraldine Perriam, The Historical Novels Review, Issue 25 August 2003

"...exquisite writing...A bitter sweet tale of endurance of body and soul, heart rending in its beauty."
The Good Book Guide

"... blends impressive research with a dignified prose style that effectively evokes the turn of the 20th century…will fascinate anyone with an interest in how science is done… substantial and rewarding…"
Kirkus December 15th 2003.

"…a first-rate historical novel; one that informs as well as being a gripping read."
Ed Halloran The Rocky Mountain News 29th January 2004

"In British author Dudman's stunning first adult novel, she reveals the poetry of science, interweaving a deep character study of German meteorologist Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) with scenes of pulse-pounding Arctic adventure…Dudman's prose is luminous ..(and she) displays an astute gift for characterization…emotional yet understated …(a) wise, beautiful novel."
Jeff Vandermeer. Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review), 9th February 2004

"Dudman communicates the excitement of new thinking, the thrill of intellectual leaps and the frustration of the experimenting and measurement-taking. Better yet, she avoids boring the reader. She knows how much detail to give, and when to stop."
Brian Alexander San Diego Union Tribune 15th February 2004

"Dudman tells her story with convincing verisimilitude, and her preface includes an Arctic set piece Barry Lopez could envy..."
Brad Wieners Outside Magazine. March 2004

"Dudman not only fills in an important historical gap but also gives us the story of a very interesting man."
Amy Westervelt San Francisco Chronicle 22nd February 2004

"…stunningly poetic… a thorough, as well as a thoroughly intriguing, novel that beautifully portrays one truly fascinating man."
Janet St John Booklist

"Her writing is certainly very beautiful, exquisitely sensitive to the complex character of the natural world, the sensuality of air and rock and mica…As gorgeous and rigorous as a Mark Rothko painting…"
Stacey D'Erasmo New York Newsday 14th March 2004

"Dudman artfully channels Wegener’s voice—prim and fastidious, but filled with longing—so convincingly that her book reads like an artifact of Old World exploration."
The New Yorker 15th March 2004

" uplifting book....Dudman does a stunning job of placing you in the heart of the four expeditions... intensely suspenseful, and Wegener's sense of wonderment at his surroundings is just as raw and exhilarating...a first novel as accomplished as many veteran writers' efforts."
Michael Upchurch Seattle Times 28th March 2004

"…one of the pleasures of this novel lies in her portrayal of the process of scientific discovery. Wegener's grand ideas didn't jump out at him from lab data; they came by connecting a lifetime of observations -- in the Alps, the Greenland ice fields and the library stacks."
Bruce Barcott New York Times April 4th 2004

"...a gripping, passionate adventure novel--about swashbuckling as an "Indiana Jones" movie, as heartbreaking as any great romance, and a stunning work of artistic prose… a frozen jewel for anyone longing for a truly great human adventure."
Elizabeth Wilson Chemical and Engineering News. April 5, 2004 Volume 82, Number 14 pp. 74-75

"...a portrayal of both science and scientist in action that is breathtaking in scope.... engrossing,... alternately heartbreaking and heartwarming...a nuanced portrait of a man whose dogged dedication to science and belief in himself not only cost him his life but changed the world."
Chris Scott Nashville Scene June 3-9 2004 Order the book through

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Wegeners Jigsaw Book Cover
UK Front cover:
Richard Étienne/Debut Art

One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead
US Front cover:
Alan Sirulnikoff/Photonica

UK paperback cover

US softback cover

Wegeners Laubsäge
German cover
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