Books Of The Year #6: The Old Man And His Sons

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December 3, 2011 by markstani

First published in Faroese in 1940, and republished by translation experts Telegram this year, Heoin Bru’s The Old Man And His Sons is a story of the daily struggle for survival on the Faroe Islands. It tells of inter-generational conflicts, Faroese-style: Ketil’s sons no longer wish to endure the slog of hunting for seabirds nor line the rooms of their homes with turf. His daughters-in-law ‘have been to Torshavn, and picked up daft notions’. It’s a beautiful, captivating chronicle of the savage glory of a simple life, long gone. Read the full review here.

The people on the shore had now fallen silent, for though they rejoiced in the hunt, they were a little abashed at the slaughter, sobered to see the whales so mutilated and dying – those same whales that a little before had been swimming briskly and beautifully, with all the gleam and pride of the mighty ocean upon them.


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