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Roy Jacobsen: The Unseen


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Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett, with Don Shaw

Published 2022
Paperback 272 pages

ISBN: 9781848666108

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for International Fiction 2017

‘An absolute masterpiece. Packed with understated emotion, stunning from beginning to end’ Courttia Newland, author of A River Called Time

 Her father dreams of building a quay that will connect them to the mainland, but closer ties to the wider world come at a price. Her mother has her own dreams – more children, a smaller island, a different life – and there is one question Ingrid must never ask her.

Island life is hard, a living scratched from the dirt or trawled from the sea, so when Ingrid comes of age, she is sent to the mainland to work for one of the wealthy families on the coast. But Norway too is waking up to a wider world, a modern world that is capricious and can be cruel. Tragedy strikes, and Ingrid must fight to protect the home she thought she had left behind.

 ‘Easily among the best books I have ever read’ Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Roy Jacobsen has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literary Award, and in 2009 was shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award for his novel The Burnt-Out Town of MiraclesThe Unseen was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2017. Other novels in the series are White Shadow, Eyes of the Rigel and Just a Mother.

Don Bartlett has translated books by Jo Nesbø and Karl Ove Knausgård, and with Don Shaw, many novels by Roy Jacobsen.


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