by Torgny Lindgren

One evening in late October, a middle-aged woman author is giving a lecture about the Saints in the parish hall in a small community in northern Sweden. Among the tiny public there is an elderly man who offers to put her up for the night in his house which is a car journey away in the night darkness. When it becomes light the next morning, the countryside around the rather isolated house is seen to be deep in snow. The woman stays with the man, who is alone and marked by death, while she waits for the road to be ploughed.

Hadar is terminally ill with cancer,and he keeps on living in order to survive his brother who lives in a similar house down the hill and has a weak heart. They are caught in a life-long dependency and hatred of each other, and the visiting author’s role in this final stage of their life is that of the go-between, and eventually of the producer. The remarkable and darkly glowing tale that Torgny Lindgren tells via the author, is about the woman and son in the lives of both brothers, about love and death and ”of the strange glory of a life which is laid bare”. This book marks a high-point among Lindgren’s works, which have been published in more than 20 countries.

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