Voices from the North - Anthology

‘It’s a matter of documented fact that Mae West came from Stavanger! At least her ancestors originally came from Stavanger; she was actually related to the town’s most famous (and infamous) preacher, Lars Oftedal, who proclaimed his lapse into sin from the door of the largest meeting house in town. If Stavanger were to raise a monument to Mae West on the south side of Boknafjord she would form an alluring portal to this part of the country, and at the same time an eroticised prelude to adventure in the big, wide world.’ - Kjartan Fløgstad

Stavanger in Norway, one of the world’s three leading oil cities, has been chosen as a European Capital of Culture for 2008. Seven prize-winning writers, all with a connection to the region, showcase their work, both prose fiction and poetry, in this celebratory anthology. Exciting and innovative, these young writers use images of life and death, the past and the future, of Norway and abroad, of the poetic and the everyday, to illuminate our current lives and issue warnings about the future.

These stories, novel extracts and poetry challenge tradition and reveal a distinct take on modern life. A man makes lists of all the things he has to do while waiting to hear if his father has died; another, hearing of his father’s death, remembers key events from his childhood; on a visit to India, a man follows a photojournalist across a river and learns how to slaughter a boar. A biographical novel creates a vivid portrait of a syphilitic manic-depressive artist at the turn of the last century; prose poems reveal a lovelorn individual who commutes between earth and sky, body and soul; poetry creates a new language to reveal the future consequences of our failure to change our current Western lifestyle.

An introduction and a piece about Stavanger’s history by Kjartan Fløgstad, author of Dalen Portland 1977 (trans. as Dollar Road, US 1989) and Grand Manila (2007), one of Norway’s leading writers, complete this richly imaginative and vibrant anthology.

Kjartan Fløgstad, Johan Harstad, Tore Renberg, Sigmund Jensen, Einar O. Risa, Øyvind Rimbereid, Torild Wardenær

Publication date for Voices from the North: 14th August 2008

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