Gregory Spatz


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Author Gregory Spatz is distantly related to Sir John Franklin, who was his great-grandmother's uncle. He was also inspired by the traditional 1800s ballad “Lady Franklin’s Dream” which Spatz recorded as a duet with his wife on his solo CD and again on the first Mighty Squirrel CD.

The title Inukshuk literally means “in the likeness of man.” Practically it refers to a stacked arrangement of stone slabs with a human shape pointing towards something of import for a passing traveler. Spatz sees a similar relationship between himself and his novel’s readers.

Little is known about the true story of Franklin’s Arctic journey, but it is likely that his crew survived 5-6 years in the Arctic, suffering from extreme scurvy and ultimately turning to cannibalism. The search for his ships—and the truth behind their voyage—continues to make news.

At once a coming-of-age and historical adventure tale, Inukshuk is a tribute to the redemptive power of love and art. It also contains a powerful environmental message about climate change and oil dependence. As the author notes, there was once too much ice to navigate the Northwest Passage and now there’s too little ice for native communities to function.