The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles
‘A compact and compelling novel by an iconic Norwegian writer…[and] thanks to Don Bartlett and Don Shaw’s crisp translation, we see it obliquely’ – Independent
Set in Finland in 1939, this is the story of one man who remains in his home town when everyone else has fled, burning down their houses in their wake, before the invading Russians arrive.
Timo remains behind because he can’t imagine life anywhere else, doing anything else besides felling the trees near his home. This is a novel about belonging – a tale of powerful and forbidden friendships forged during a war, of unexpected bravery and astonishing survival instincts.
The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles is not a novel about war, but about the lives of ordinary people dragged into war, each of whom only wants to find the path back home.
Roy Jacobsen uses the dramatic natural landscape of light and darkness, fire-blazing heat and life-robbing cold to spectacular effect.
Jacobsen is fascinated by people clinging to their sense of belonging in the harshest conditions, and this is another short, intense and unforgettable work. -- David Mills * Sunday Times. *
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