top of page

Fraser's Penguins

A Journey to the Future of Antarctica


During the Antarctic spring and summer, author Fen Montaigne spent five months working as a member of ecologist Bill Fraser’s field team. Against the spectacular backdrop of the towering, glaciated mountains and iceberg-filled seas of the western Antarctic Peninsula, Fen tells the story of Fraser’s decades of research in the region, where rapid warming has caused sea ice to disappear, glaciers to retreat, and massive floating ice shelves to shatter. As Fraser has documented in his groundbreaking research, the biggest casualty of these dramatic changes is the region’s population of ice-loving Adélie penguins.


Reporting from one of the wildest places on earth, Fen chronicles the otherworldly beauty of Antarctica, the lives of these beloved penguins, and the lessons that Fraser’s work will one day have for the rest of the world.

"Fraser’s Penguins leaves one feeling exhilarated — by these remarkable creatures, the landscape they inhabit, and the scientists who’ve devoted their lives to studying both . . . It’s [Montaigne’s] descriptive prowess, his ability to evoke lavender — and cobalt, magenta and violet — without waxing purple, that most impresses."

- The Sunday New York Times Book Review

“I found Montaigne’s account exceptionally poignant. He voices the emotions that inundate everyone who works in this vast wilderness . . . The book [is] a piercing cry of alarm.”

- Nature

“The astonishing vignettes woven throughout are not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Montaigne’s descriptions are painstakingly clear, which means that brutal moments . . . seem real enough to make the reader flinch . . . But the sublime moments are utterly so.”

The Seattle Times

“A brilliant, beautiful, and terrifying account of what’s happening at the bottom of our world.”

- Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea

“Richly observed and keenly affecting, Fraser’s Penguins is a portrait of a world in the process of disappearing. Fen Montaigne has written an evocative and important book.”

- Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

bottom of page