The Ice Palace - Tarjei Vesaas

Penguin Modern Classics


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The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas, translated by Elizabeth Rokkan / 139-page paperback from Penguin / ISBN 9780241321218


"How simple this novel is. How subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary'." —Doris Lessing

"I'm surprised it isn't the most famous book in the world." —Max Porter

'She was close to the edge now: the ice laid its hand upon her'

The schoolchildren call it the Ice Palace: a frozen waterfall in the Norwegian fjords transformed into a fantastic structure of translucent walls, sparkling towers and secret chambers. It fascinates two young girls, lonely Unn and lively Siss, who strike up an intense friendship. When Unn decides to explore the Ice Palace alone and doesn't return, Siss must try to cope with the loss of her friend without succumbing to a frozen world of her own making.

Tarjei Vesaas (1897–1970) was a Norwegian poet and novelist whose sparse, poetic, and figurative style won him international acclaim and three separate nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Best known and best loved of his works are The Ice Palace, for which he won The Nordic Council's Literature Prize; The Birds; and The Bridges. Vesaas is an enduring literary figure in his native Norway where his home has become a site of pilgrimage. Elizabeth Rokkan was awarded the St. Olav Medal for her efforts to make Norwegian literature available to English speakers.

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