Per Petterson received the Impac Dublin Award this week for his book Our Stealing Horses. It was marvellous hearing him read an excerpt from it this spring at the Pen International Writers Festival at 192 Books in Chelsea just around the corner from the seminary. When he opened his mouth and began to read, a world opened up.
The Guardian comments on the award:-
The Irish poet and judge Gerald Dawe said that it "pipped past the post" of the strong shortlist because it is "a wonderfully subtle book. In the background, shadowing it with an almost ghostly narrative, there is the history of how war impacts on families in very different ways."
While Petterson has namechecked Norway's 1920 Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun as a particular inspiration for the novel, the subtlety of Out Stealing Horses, with its focus on character and relationships rather than plot owes much to the influence of the American writer Raymond Carver.