Set in medieval Greenland, this novel recounts the history of a community plagued with rivalries and feuds, famines and battles with Eskimos. Although the story centres on a woman's struggle in exile, the main theme of the book is the decay and ultimate destruction of a civilization. Jane Smiley has also written the novels "Paradise Gate", "Duplicate Keys" and "The Age of Grief".
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At the edge of the polar icecap is medieval Europe's most farflung outpost, a Viking colony settled for generations but now struggling for survival. Here, far from the civilised world, in a land of glittering fjords, of blasting winds, of sun-warmed meadows and high dark mountains, live a people much accustomed to holding their own opinions and doing as they please. They are, however, haunted by a rising apprehension: with every year that passes the winters seem unaccountably more cruel; the fur-clad eskimos from the North more demonic; there are increasing outbursts of lawlessness and witchcraft. Has Europe, in the grip of the plague, forgotten the Greenlanders? If so, will they be able to survive in their isolation?
In this powerful and hypnotic novel Jane Smiley draws us into a fourteenth-century Norse community – into the lives of its farmers, priests and lawspeakers, into the hunts, the feasts and the long-standing feuds, the flowerings of love and the explosions of sudden violence – to reveal a world which is at once harsh and beautiful, bleak yet vibrant with life.
"This extraordinary novel is full of life and bristling with action."
"A magnificent novel, Jane Smiley has brought to her immaculately researched material a deep sympathy with her characters, a sparkling imagination and a faultless narrative skill. She has truly written a saga, which is biblical in its rhythm, beauty and simplicity of language and yet which has all the excitement of a modern adventure novel."
'The Age of Grief, Ordinary Love' and 'A Thousand Acres' (which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) are also available in Flamingo.About the Author:
Jane Smiley was born in LA, grew up in St Louis and studied at Vassar and Iowa. She won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Award in 1992 for ‘A Thousand Acres’.
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Book Description HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS LTD, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000223419X