Two literary legends influenced a new novel by Ian McGuire, associate professor of English. The North Water (Henry Holt and Co.) was inspired by both Herman Melville's Moby Dick and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. The book made the long list for the prestigious Man Booker Prize and was named to The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2016.
"I was working on another very different novel about Herman Melville's life, when I came across a diary written by Arthur Conan Doyle when he was a young medical student and worked for a while as a surgeon on an Arctic whaling ship," McGuire says.
"The diary gave me the idea of writing a murder story set on a whaling ship, and that became the seed of The North Water."