May: The Unseen
The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen (NORWAY)
Translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw
Islanders are never afraid: if they were, they wouldn’t be able to live here. Born on the Norwegian island that bears her name, Ingrid Barrøy’s world is circumscribed by storm-scoured rocks and the moods of the sea by which her family lives and dies. But her father dreams of building a quay that will end their isolation, and her mother longs for the island of her youth, and the country faces its own sea change: the advent of a modern world, and all its attendant unpredictability and violence. Brilliantly translated into English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, The Unseen is a profoundly moving exploration of family, resilience, and fate.
“Even by his high standards, his magnificent new novel The Unseen is Jacobsen’s finest to date, as blunt as it is subtle and is easily among the best books I have ever read.”—Irish Times
“A beautifully crafted novel . . . Quite simply a brilliant piece of work . . . Rendered beautifully into English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, The Unseen is a towering achievement that would be a deserved Booker International winner.”—New European
“A profound interrogation of freedom and fate, as well as a fascinating portrait of a vanished time, written in prose as clear and washed clean as the world after a storm.”—The Guardian
Roy Jacobsen is a Norwegian novelist and short-story writer. Born in Oslo, he made his publishing début in 1982 with the short-story collection Fangeliv (Prison Life). He is winner of the prestigious Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature.