Books

Echoland

Per Petterson (and others)

Petterson’s debut novel, published in English for the first time

Twelve-year-old Arvid and his family are on holiday, staying with his grandparents on the coast of Denmark. Dimly aware of the tension building between his mother and grandmother, Arvid is on the cusp of becoming a teenager: feeling awkward in his own skin, but adamant that he can take care of himself.

As Arvid cycles down to the beach with its view of the lighthouse, he meets Mogens, an older boy who lives nearby, and together they set out to find fresh experiences in this strange new world. Echoland is a breathtaking read, capturing the unique drift of childhood summers, filled with unarticulated anxiety.

I Refuse

Per Petterson (and others)

From the author of the international bestseller Out Stealing Horses

I refuse to compromise.

I refuse to forgive.

I refuse to forget.


Tommy’s mother has gone. She walked out into the snow one night, leaving him and his sisters with their violent father. Without his best friend Jim, Tommy would be in trouble. But Jim has challenges of his own which will disrupt their precious friendship.

A TLS and Guardian Book of the Year

Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes

Per Petterson (and others)

Per Petterson masters the art of writing simply about big subjects, and this is the heartwarming debut that brought the author of the highly acclaimed Out Stealing Horses to prominence

Arvid Jansen is a young boy who lives on the outskirts of Oslo. It’s the early sixties, his father works in a shoe factory and his Danish mother works as a cleaner. Arvid wets his bed at night and has nightmares about crocodiles, but slowly he is beginning to piece the world together.

Per Petterson’s debut, in which he introduces Arvid Jansen to the world, is a delicate portrait of childhood in all its complexity, its wonders and confusions that will delight fans of Out Stealing Horses and new readers alike.

It's Fine By Me

Per Petterson (and others)

Audun is the only one of his family who remains with his mother in working-class Oslo. He delivers newspapers when he is not in school and talks for hours about Jack London and Ernest Hemingway with his best friend – but there are some things Audun won’t talk about. Stories about his family, the weeks he spent living in a couple of cardboard boxes, and the day of his little brother's birth, when his drunken father fired three shots into the ceiling.

A beautiful and disquieting coming-of-age story from the winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

I Curse the River of Time

Per Petterson (and others)

It is 1989 and all over Europe Communism is crumbling. Arvid Jansen is in the throes of a divorce. At the same time, his mother is diagnosed with cancer. Over a few intense autumn days, we follow Arvid as he struggles to find a new footing in his life, while everything around him is changing at staggering speed. As he attempts to negotiate the present, he remembers holidays on the beach with his brothers, his early working life devoted to Communist ideals, courtship, and his relationship with his tough, independent mother - a relationship full of distance and unspoken pain that is central to Arvid's life.

To Siberia

Per Petterson

In the bitter cold of Danish Jutland, where the sea freezes over and the Nazis have yet to invade, a young girl dreams of one day going on a great journey to Siberia, while her beloved brother Jesper yearns for the warmer climes of Morocco. Their home, with a pious mother who sings hymns all day and a silent father, is as cold as their surroundings. But the unshakeable bond between brother and sister creates a vital warmth which glows in spite of the chill and the dark clouds that threaten to overtake their dreams.

In The Wake

Per Petterson

Early one morning Arvid finds himself standing outside the bookshop where he used to work, drunk, dirty, with two fractured ribs, and no idea how he came to be there. He does not even recognise his face in the mirror. It is as if he has dropped out of the flow of life.

Slowly, uncontrollably, the memories return to him, and Arvid struggles under the weight of the tragedy which has blighted his life - the death of his parents and younger siblings in an accident six years previously.

At times almost unbearably moving, In the Wake is nonetheless suffused with unexpected blessings: humour, wisdom, human compassion, and a sense of the perpetual beauty of the natural world.

By the winner of both the IMPAC Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Out Stealing Horses

Per Petterson (and others)

In 1948, when he is fifteen, Trond spends a summer in the country with his father. The events - the accidental death of a child, his best friend's feelings of guilt and eventual disappearance, his father's decision to leave the family for another woman - will change his life forever. An early morning adventure out stealing horses leaves Trond bruised and puzzled by his friend Jon's sudden breakdown. The tragedy which lies behind this scene becomes the catalyst for the two boys' families gradually to fall apart. As a 67-year-old man, and following the death of his wife, Trond has moved to an isolated part of Norway to live in solitude. But a chance encounter with a character from the fateful summer of 1948 brings the painful memories of that year flooding back, and will leave Trond even more convinced of his decision to end his days alone.

Biography

Per Petterson was born in Oslo in 1952 and worked for several years as an unskilled labourer and a bookseller. He made his literary breakthrough in 2003 with the prizewinning novel Out Stealing Horses, which has been published in forty-nine languages and won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.