The winter nights are dark and still, you can almost hear the fish breathe on the sea bed. Snow is falling so heavily that it binds heaven and earth together. As the villagers gather in the inn to drink schnapps and coffee while the boy reads to them from 'Hamlet', Jens the postman stumbles in half dead, having almost frozen solid on his horse. On his next journey across the wide open fjord and the icy landscape beyond he is accompanied by the boy. Both will risk their lives for each other, and for an unusual delivery.
Winner of Shadow Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014.
'Recalls a Nordic version of one of Cormac McCarthy's journeys ... Devour this book with a hot drink in a warm room' Boyd Tonkin, Independent. 'Captivating ... the author eloquently harnesses an overwhelming sense of enormity and vastness ... this is a story of life, love and those left behind. It is a tale punctuated by the stark spectrum of human foibles, but equally one of strength, victory and selflessness in the face of adversity. The dizzying climax will leave you breathless' Susan Swarbrick, Glasgow Herald. 'A spellbinding novel, beautifully written in a lyrical, poetic style' Jacqui Patience, Shadow Independent Foreign Fiction Prize judge. 'A wonderful, exceptional writer ... a timeless storyteller' Carsten Jensen.
Jon Kalman Stefansson was born in Reykjavik in 1963. His novels have been nominated three times for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature (2001, 2004, 2007) and his novel Summer Light, and then Comes the Night received the Icelandic Prize for Literature in 2005. Philip Roughton is the translator of, among others, the works of Halldor Laxness, and The Islander, a biography of Laxness by Halldor Gudmundsson. He lives and works in Reykjavik.