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  • MacLehose Press

The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles

Roy Jacobsen

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


'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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Roy Jacobsen

Roy Jacobsen has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council's Literary Award: for Seierherrene in 1991, and Frost in 2003, and in 2009 he was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac Award for his novel The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles.