I was fourteen and a half when the Germans came. On that 9th April we woke to the roar of aeroplanes swooping so low over the roofs of the town that we could see the black iron crosses painted on the underside of their wings when we leaned out of the windows and looked up.
In this exquisite novel, readers will find the crystalline prose and depth of feeling they adored in Out Stealing Horses, a literary sensation of 2007.
A brother and sister are forced ever more closely together after the suicide of their grandfather. Their parents’ neglect leaves them wandering the streets of their small Danish village. The sister dreams of escaping to Siberia, but it seems increasingly distant as she helplessly watches her brother become more and more involved in resisting the Nazis.
If the aim of fiction is to so completely engross readers that they're transported by words and grafted into the lives of fabricated people, then Per Petterson has perfected the art of spellbinding literature. You don't just read his novels of Nordic life, you experience them.
His Out Stealing Horses, winner of the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, captivated readers with its story of a Norwegian widower unpeeling the memories of a tragic past. The novel had all the earmarks of great literature: spare, lucid prose; vibrant characters; wrenching emotional depth; a page-turning plot. Though he'd been publishing fiction in Norway for a decade, Out Stealing Horses catapulted Petterson onto the American literary scene. He has rightfully drawn comparisons to Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Willa Cather, and William Faulkner.