Tarjei Vesaas
The Birds

Nature reveals secrets to Mattis. He can decipher the language of birds. He can read the letters that the woodcock writers to him with its beak and feet. And he can articulate the deepest questions of life: Why are things the way they are? he asks the friendly farmer’s wife who offers him coffee when he has again failed in doing the work he has been asked to do.

No-one can offer any answers, but the author tells the story in such a way that the reader comes to share his empathy for Mattis, while still understanding Mattis’s sister Hege and all those who want to help Mattis, but who can’t reach all the way in to him.

Tarjei Vesaas

Tarjei Vesaas
Gyldendal Norsk Forlag

Tarjei Vesaas was a modernist who maintained a degree of technical experimentation throughout his work. He is regarded as one of Scandinavia’s foremost twentieth-century writers and was the first Norwegian to win the Nordic Council's Prize.

Tarjei Vesaas was born on a farm in Vinje in 1897. He was the oldest of three sons, and as the oldest he was entitled to inherit the farm. But Vesaas understood early that he was set out to become a writer.

Vesaas started writing poems and articles for newspapers at the age of 23. The year after, he won a price for one of his poems, which led him to send some of his work to a publisher. He got turned down several times, but in 1922 he won a contest for short stories, and shortly after this, his first novel, The Children of Humans (Menneskebonn, 1923) was published.

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His novels have been translated into 28 languages.

Other titles

The Seed (Kimen), 1940
The House in the Dark (Huset i mørkret), 1945
The Bleaching Yard (Bleikeplassen), 1946
The Tower (Tårnet), 1948
The Signal (Signalet), 1950
Spring Night (Vårnatt), 1954
The Birds (Fuglane), 1957
The Fire (Brannen), 1961
The Ice Palace (Is-slottet), 1963
The Bridges (Bruene), 1966
The Boat in the Evening (Båten om kvelden), 1968

The Winds (Vindane), 1952
One Fine Day (Ein vakker dag), 1959

The Sources (Kjeldene), 1946
The Game and the Lightning (Leiken og lynet), 1947
The Wanderer's Reward (Lykka for ferdesmenn), 1949
Land of Hidden Fires (Løynde eldars land), 1953
Be New, Dream of Ours (Ver ny, vår draum), 1956
Life at the Stream (Liv ved straumen), 1970

Foreign rights

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Edited October 04, 2017 by Gyldendal Agency