• ISBN 978 0 7206 122 9
  • Fiction
  • Paperback
  • £9.99
  • 220pp
  • May 2009


More on Tarjei Vesaas

The Ice Palace

Tarjei Vesaas

Translated from the Norwegian by Elizabeth Rokkan

A new edition of what is commonly seen as the legendary Norwegian writer's masterpiece. Siss and Unn are new friends – so new that they have spent only one whole evening in each other's company. But so profound is that evening that when Unn inexplicably disappears Siss's world is shattered. Siss's struggle with her fidelity to the memory of her friend and Unn's fatal exploration of the strange, terrifyingly beautiful frozen waterfall that is the Ice Palace are described in prose of a lyrical economy that ranks among the most memorable achievements of modern literature.

Tarjei Vesaas is regarded as one of the finest writers ever to have come out of Scandinavia – he is notable for having been nominated for the Nobel Prize three times and has been considered one of the greatest prose stylists never to have won. Nevertheless, his reputation is secure and growing all the time. Peter Owen has long considered The Ice Palace to be the greatest work ever to have come from his publishing house, which boasts seven Nobel Prize winners on its list.

‘How simple this novel is. How subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary.’ — Doris Lessing, Independent

‘It is hard to do justice to The Ice Palace . . . The narrative is urgent, the descriptions relentlessly beautiful, the meaning as powerful as the ice piling up on the lake.’ — The Times

‘Vesaas’s laconic sentences are as cold and simple as ice — and as fantastic.’ — Daily Telegraph

‘Believable and haunting . . . this beautiful and neo-prose poem is as sombre and Scandinavian as a Bergman film . . . the evocation of rime, frost and cracking ice have so eternal a quality that the mention of a passing car comes almost as a shock.’ — Nova

‘Austere poetical clarity, stoical wisdom and a vivid response to nature.’ — Times Literary Supplement

TARJEI VESAAS was born in 1897 in the remote rural Telemark district of Norway, where he spent most of his life. Throughout his life he published several novels, volumes of poetry and a book of short stories which was awarded an international prize at Venice in 1952. He was awarded several other prizes and was a candidate for the Nobel Prize in 1964, 1968 and again in 1969. He died in 1970, his reputation as the leading Nordic writer firmly established.