The Hills Reply

by

Translated from by

Published: Coming December 2019

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Book Description

Tarjei Vesaas’s final work, The Hills Reply, is a flow of intensely lyrical autobiographical scenes. The vivid beauty of the wilds of Norway grounds the narrator’s interior flashes. The first sketch finds a boy, his father, and their packhorse clearing a logging road buried in snow as their surroundings give way to a crisis. Profound insights into human behavior, solitude, and nonverbal communication stand up to the power and immensity of the natural world. The land speaks to (and at times almost swallows) the central character, as he is pushed to the edge of what a body and mind can endure. The hypnotic pulse of Vesaas’ prose blurs the line between memory and hallucination, as it stares bravely into the unblinking eye of Nature. An unforgettable book, The Hills Reply is a visceral salute to the human spirit, to the ecstasy of wilderness, and to their tender overlapping.

Tarjei Vesaas is the best and most interesting Norwegian writer after the Second World War. His language is so sensitive, so open to his characters’ minds and the landscape they inhabit, that it gives form to that space between – between people and other people, between people and nature – the space where our lives unfold.

Karl Ove Knausgaard


Just as one should write a note to an old teacher whose guidance becomes increasingly meaningful as the years go by, one should pay homage to those writers who have brought enjoyment and healing. Tarjei Vesaas belongs to them.
Brita K. Stendahl


A clear crystal of imagination…a rare kind of masterpiece.

Daily Telegraph


A rare mixture of creative vitality, conviction and artistry.

The Guardan


An excellent translation by Elizabeth Rokkan catches the quiet, poetic mood.

Sunday Telegraph


Infinitely calm and strong.

Daily Telegraph


Disturbing and beautiful…elaborate and powerful.

Sunday Times


A book of great strength and beauty.

The Times


Read Dorris Lessing’s 1993 review of Tarjei Vesaas’ The Ice Palace for The Independent.

Check out Tarjei Vesaas’ poem “Sun-corner” online.