Bowdoin Reads

Elizabeth Weston is reading...

Out Stealing Horses
by Per Petterson

Trond Sander has moved to “a small house in the far east of Norway,” beside a lake. Here, with his dog Lyra, he plans to live the remainder of his life alone, mindfully filling his days with tasks and chores, and keeping himself company. Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses offers a rewarding journey with Trond, a man in his late 60s, charting the waters of his past and seamlessly returning to the present. A chance meeting with his neighbor seems to spawn a series of recollections from the summer of 1948, spent with his father in a cabin in northern Norway, beside a river “that came flowing in a semicircle crossing the border from Sweden and down through this village and back into Sweden a few kilometers further south.” Memories of that summer, when he was 15, flood his thoughts and the reader is witness to the character’s internal retelling and also to his reflections and ruminations on these life-changing experiences. Out Stealing Horses is simply written and incredibly compelling. Anne Born translated the book into English and I will venture to say she did a fine job, though I wish that I knew Norwegian for the pleasure it must be to read Petterson’s original words.

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