Echoland by Per Petterson

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“They sailed across the sea to Denmark.” From its very first sentence, Per Petterson’s debut novel, originally published in 1989 and now available for the first time in English, in a translation by Don Bartlett, offers a compelling mix of fable with the day-to-day account of a working-class boy...
-Guardian

Synopsis

12-year-old Arvid and his family are on holiday, staying with his grandparents in Denmark. Arvid is confused by the underlying tension between his mother and grandmother, and is grappling with his own sense of self: he's on the cusp of becoming a teenager, feeling awkward in his own skin, and is unsure of his emotions.

As Arvid cycles around town, down to the beach and its lighthouse, his new-found freedom fuels his desire to experience life: the feeling of exhilaration as he strips off his red swimming trunks and taunts a bull before running to safety, or as he jumps into the water while fishing with a friend and batters a line-caught fish to death – violence he can’t quite comprehend in its aftermath.

Echoland is an extraordinarily natural, subtle and truthful snapshot of growing up, light as air but with an emotional depth that lingers long after its final pages.

 

About Per Petterson

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Published November 22, 2016 by Harvill Secker. 144 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by John Burnside on Oct 29 2016

“They sailed across the sea to Denmark.” From its very first sentence, Per Petterson’s debut novel, originally published in 1989 and now available for the first time in English, in a translation by Don Bartlett, offers a compelling mix of fable with the day-to-day account of a working-class boy...

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