WINNER OF THE ENGLISH PEN AWARD 2020
SUNDAY TIMES BEST FOREIGN FICTION JULY 2020
An environmental scientist has chosen to spend the winter on a remote peninsula in the far north of Norway in order to collect data on the activities of the seabird population. She is determined to prove a link between climate change and the decline in numbers of various species. She is also waiting for her lover to arrive. But cut off from human contact, tested by the primal forces of nature, she finds herself drawn into a dark and uncomfortable place that defies scientific logic. As she delves into the past, she has to face up to her earlier decisions.
What are her true motives for coming here? Why has she left her young daughter and ex-husband behind? And will her lover ever join her?
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.
“A terrific novel of isolation… Ankomst is a skilful and gripping exploration of personal battles fought on a field of loneliness and insecurity exacerbated by isolation. The scientist clashes internally with the mother and lover feeling guilt about leaving her daughter, and guilt at not feeling guilty enough about leaving her daughter. The rationality of the cold hard data she’s collecting bumps against immersions in events from more than a century earlier that blur the borders of reality and even sanity.” Charlie Connelly, The New European
‘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
“Gabrielsen’s sensuous doomsday prose deserves far more readers” Silje Stavrum Norevik, BLA
“Gabrielsen is a master at creating horror using simple tools” Marta Norheim, Best Books of the Year, Nyhetsmorgen NRK P2
“Gabrielsen creates a […] precise female portrait that captivates and at the same time deeply touches you in its coolness and sobriety.” Mareike Liedmann
“The ending puts every detective novel in the shade.” Adresseavisen