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  • MacLehose Press
  • Maclehose Press

The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles

Roy Jacobsen

6 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), War & combat fiction, Historical fiction, Fiction in translation

From the author of Man Booker International Shortlisted THE UNSEEN.

'A compact and compelling novel by an iconic Norwegian writer...[and] thanks to Don Bartlett and Don Shaw's crisp translation, we see it obliquely' - Independent

Set in Finland in 1939, this is the story of one man who remains in his home town when everyone else has fled, burning down their houses in their wake, before the invading Russians arrive.

Timo remains behind because he can't imagine life anywhere else, doing anything else besides felling the trees near his home. This is a novel about belonging - a tale of powerful and forbidden friendships forged during a war, of unexpected bravery and astonishing survival instincts.

THE BURNT-OUT TOWN OF MIRACLES is not a novel about war, but about the lives of ordinary people dragged into war, each of whom only wants to find the path back home.

Roy Jacobsen uses the dramatic natural landscape of light and darkness, fire-blazing heat and life-robbing cold to spectacular effect.

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Praise for The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles

  • 'An inventive wordsmith and a great storyteller, [Jacobsen] never sacrifices substance for style. His research is meticulous; he knows when to hold back and let the unspoken speak for itself, the hallmark of an author so familiar with his subject that he knows precisely where to let the reader fill in the gaps. As he often places his characters in the midst of historical events and social change, the reader feels more emotionally involved than a mere observer would: The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles is a gem of a novel' - Independent

  • 'Wonderful novella...he captures the intense cold beautifully' - Daily Telegraph

  • 'A compact and compelling novel by an iconic Norwegian writer...[and] thanks to Don Bartlett and Don Shaw's crisp translation, we see it obliquely' - Independent

  • A strange, impressively understated novel . . . a daunting, traditional narrative which asserts itself from page one and, like the winter cold, refuses to relax its hold - Irish Times

  • Jacobsen is a gifted writer, stylish, laconic and imaginative, and he is well served by his translators, Don Bartlett and Don Shaw . . . a powerful and well-written account of an unfamilliar episode in the Second World War - TLS

  • 'This deceptively simple novel is multi-layered and fascinating' - Shropshire Star

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Roy Jacobsen

Roy Jacobsen was born in 1954 and is one of the most celebrated and influential contemporary writers in Norway, with his ten novels, four collections of short stories, a biography and a children's book. Among other awards, Roy Jacobsen has won the Bookseller's Prize, the Critic's Prize and in 2006, the Gyldendal Prize for THE BURNT-OUT TOWN OF MIRACLES.

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