These are the Faroe Islands as they were some fifty years ago: sea-washed and remote, with one generation still tied to the ocean for sustenance, and a younger generation turning towards commerce and clerical work in the towns. Following the blood, foam and fury of a whale kill, the normally cautious Ketil finds himself caught up in the frenzy of post celebrations, enthusiastically bidding for more meat than he can afford. Thus in his seventieth year, Ketil and his wife, along with their youngest son, struggle to repay their debt. Forced to accept the brutal reality of their precarious existence, they scavenge for driftwood and stranded seals.
Hedin Bru (1901-1987) was the penname of Hans Jacob Jacobsen, a Faroese novelist and translator. He is considered the most important Faroese writer of his generation and is known for his fresh and ironic style. The Faroese chose The Old Man and His Sons as their 'Book of the Twentieth Century'.