'The best Norwegian novel ever' Karl Ove Knausgaard
Mattis doesn't understand much about the world. He doesn't understand why others call him simple. Or why his sister Hege, who has cared for him in their peaceful lakeside cottage since they were young, gets so frustrated. But he knows that the woodcock which starts to fly over their house every day is a sign something is about to change. And when Hege falls in love, disrupting their familiar existence and unbalancing his thoughts, he decides he must face his fate.
Translated by Torbjørn Støverud and Michael Barnes
'A masterpiece' Literary Review
'Mattis, absurd and boastful, but also sweet, pathetic and even funny, is shown with great insight' Sunday Times
The Birds has a freshness that can only be due to its timeless subject matter... From the first page, this novel grips us with an acutely sensitive rendition of a mentally handicapped man's inner world
A spare, icily humane story... The character of Mattis, absurd and boastful, but also sweet, pathetic and even funny, is shown with great insight. The translation conveys successfully a concentration of style and feeling that seems to be Vesaas' characteristic mark as a novelist