• The Boat in the Evening

The critical acclaim which greeted The Boat in the Evening confirmed Tarjei Vesaas's place among the finalists for the Nobel Prize for Literature for the third time.

A series of semi-autobiographical sketches, The Boat in the Evening evokes intensely poetic scenes with cinematic beauty: a colony of cranes arrive at their mating ground to play out a delicate ritual drama; a boy and his father clear a road together in a pitiless snowstorm; a drowning man floats down river towards rescue.

Vesaas felt the book, which has drawn favourable comparisons with Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot, to be the culmination of his life's experience. And, indeed, this profound and beautiful novel, with its sensuous appreciation of nature, was to be his last published work.

Translated from the Norwegian by Elizabeth Rokkan
‘A book of great strength and beauty.’ – The Times
‘A rare kind of masterpiece, and another proof that the spirit that of poetry can find truer expression in prose than verse. If Wordsworth were alive he would be quarrying such veins in such a way.’ – Daily Telegraph
‘A rare mixture of creative vitality, conviction and artistry . . . What makes the book for me is the way he [Vesaas] establishes natural presences — trees , wind, water, rocks, ice — as not just characters in their own right but as somehow possessing more right, more reality than the human ones.’ – Guardian


TARJEI VESAAS was born in 1897 in the remote rural Telemark district of Norway, where he grew up and spent most of his life. His first book appeared in 1923, and he subsequently published several novels, volumes of poetry and short stories. His novel The Ice Palace was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize, the most important Scandinavian literary award. He was three times a Nobel Prize candidate. His work has been published in many countries. He died in 1970.
Bibliographic Data
Date Published 1st August 2003
ISBN Number 9780720611984
Pages 192

The Boat in the Evening

  • £9.95


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Tags: Vessas, Norwegian writing, Norway, the birds, poetry, fiction in translation, Scandinavian literature, Scandinavian, Rokkan, Nobel Prize