In the bitter cold of Danish Jutland, where the sea freezes over and the Nazis have yet to invade, a young girl dreams of one day going on a great journey to Siberia, while her beloved brother Jesper yearns for the warmer climes of Morocco. Their home, with a pious mother who sings hymns all day and a silent father, is as cold as their surroundings. But the unshakeable bond between brother and sister creates a vital warmth which glows in spite of the chill and the dark clouds that threaten to overtake their dreams.
Per Petterson was born in Oslo in 1952 and worked for several years as an unskilled labourer, a bookseller, a writer and a translator until he made his literary debut in 1987 with the short-story collection Ashes in my Mouth, Sand in my Shoes, which was widely acclaimed by critics. He made his literary breakthrough in 2003 with the novel Out Stealing Horses, which has been translated into 40 languages so far and won many prizes, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.