Although Jack London (1876-1916) wrote on a great variety of subjects, he gained his first and most lasting fame as the author of tales of the Klondike gold rush. At the age of twenty-one London himself had trekked to the Yukon in hope of easy riches. What he found instead was a wealth of extraordinary experience, which he turned to account in his first collection of stories, The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North (1900). The book centres on the exploits of Malemute Kid, who dispenses crude but unerring justice through his canny understanding of the minds and hearts of the people of this raw frontier territory. They act out their dramas of life and death in mining camps and on the Long Trail, against the backdrop of the frozen Northland. The stories tell of gambles won and lost, of endurance and sacrifice, and often turn on the unsuspected qualities of exceptional women and the complex relations between the white adventurers and the native tribes.