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ENGLISH PEN AWARD 2020
‘Caring in human beings is not always an instinct … but a method by which we exercise power’
Seabirds in northern Norway share the parenting of chicks equally. Even in the twenty-four hour darkness of winter they rear their young together. Among the birds, a research scientist makes her home in an abandoned fishermans hut. Surrounded by nature she observes the birds for her PhD and waits for her lover to arrive.
As she waits, secrets of the cabin’s past are revealed: a mysterious fire; a tragedy from generations long ago and with them her own secrets; a child who waits for their mother to return. Perhaps what comes naturally for seabirds is not always natural to us…
Written by Gøhril Gabrielsen
Translated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin
Closed Universe series
paperback with flaps, £12
Gøhril Gabrielsen grew up in Finmark, the northernmost county in Norway and currently lives in Oslo. She has published many novels including Dizzying Opportunities which was published as The Looking Glass Sisters by Peirene Press in 2015. Gabrielsen won Aschehoug’s First Book Award in 2008, the Tanum Women Writers Prize in 2010 and the Amalie Skram Prize for her oeuvre in 2016. Ankomst is Gabrielsen’s fifth novel and was awarded the 2017 Havmann Prize for northern Norway literature.
Deborah Dawkin is a translator from Norwegian to English. Her translation of To Music by Ketil Bjørnstad was nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She previously translated The Blue Room for Peirene Press; a Guardian Paperback of the Year. She is currently completing a collaborative PHD with UCL and the British Library on the translator Michael Meyer.
‘This short novel has it all: exquisite storytelling, a perfect plot and a fantastic portrait of a woman. Quite simply a wonderful novel (…) The ending surpasses every crime novel I have read this year.’ Stein Roll, Adresseavisen, dice roll 6
“Creeping suspense wrapped in elegant prose (…) an intense thriller from the wilderness.” Dagsavisen