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Out Stealing Horses

A Novel
Per Petterson; Translated from the Norwegian by Anne Born
We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and one of the first days of July.

Trond's friend John often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on "borrowed" horses ends with John falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell John earlier that day—an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.

Set in the northernmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.

Per Petterson offers a poignant and moving novel about the changing perspective on the world, from youthful innocence to the difficult acceptance of betrayal and abandonment. Recipient of the most prestigious award for fiction in translation, Out Stealing Horses has received enthusiastic praise and was called a "book to cherish and remember" by The Guardian.

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5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Winner of The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

About the Author

Per  Petterson
Credit: Baard Henriksen
Per Petterson is the author of seven novels, including I Refuse and Out Stealing Horses, which has been translated into fifty languages. Petterson has received the Nordic Council Literature Prize, the Norwegian Critics Prize, and the Brage Prize. He lives in Norway.
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  • “[A] superb novel . . . a gripping account of such originality as to expand the reader’s own experience of life.”Thomas McGuane, The New York Times Book Review
  • “Petterson’s spare and deliberate prose has astonishing force.”The New Yorker
  • “From the first terse sentences of this mesmerizing Norwegian novel about youth, memory, and, yes, horse stealing, you know you’re in the hands of a master storyteller.”Newsweek
  • “Petterson fluently jumbles his chronology, sustaining mysteries within several subplots. . . . But the real trick is in the way everything finally, neatly converges into an emotional jolt.”Entertainment Weekly
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