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The Pastor

The Pastor

Orstavik, Hanne

Regular price $20.00 Sale

Liv, an intense and reticent theologian, moves to a bitterly cold fishing village to take up a post as the church’s new pastor following the death of her friend, Kristiane. In the upper rooms of a large house overlooking the fjord, Liv plans her sermons and studies the violent interplay of Norway’s Christian colonial past. She trails downstairs into the apartment below for dinners and breakfasts with a widow and her two children. As Liv becomes acquainted with the villagers and their own private tragedies, memories bloom in passages that urgently question the unpredictable bedrock of language, and the peculiar channels of imagined experience as it might have been, if only there had been a different set of words, or an outstretched hand.
 
The past mingles darkly with the present, cascading in chilling images: a dog lying dead in the snowy plains, Kristiane’s teeth flashing as she laughs, a procession of singing, knife-carrying protesters curving along a river’s edge. Martin Aitken’s translation of this extraordinary novel rings with the brilliance and rigor of a master.