Out Stealing Horses

By Per Petterson; Anne Born (Translator)
(Picador USA, Paperback, 9780312427085, 238pp.)

Publication Date: April 29, 2008

List Price: $15.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List
“Sixty-seven-year-old Trond Sander wants to live in peace and quiet but finds himself confronted with a turbulent period of his youth. This award-winning and provocatively written novel loses nothing in translation from Norwegian, and, after reading Petterson's novel, the conversation in our book group was lively and inspired.”
-- Cynthia Claridge, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR


We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and oneof the first days of July.

Trond’s friend Jon often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on “borrowed” horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day—an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.

Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.

About the Author
Per Petterson is the author of five previous novels, which established him as one of Norway's best fiction writers. Petterson worked as a manual laborer, spent twelve years as a bookseller, and was a translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. His novel Out Stealing Horses won the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was named one of the best books of 2007 by the New York Times Book Review and Time.

Anne Born is a Michigan-born, Bronx-based writer who has been writing stories and poetry since childhood. Anne is a contributing writer at The Broad Side and her work has been featured in the NY Transit Museum Platform Series and the Inspired Word "We Heart NYC Writers." Her writing focuses on family and life in a big city - New York - after growing up in a small one in Michigan. Most of her writing is done on a New York City bus or subway train. Anne Born also organizes Family History Writing workshops in New York. She is a photographer who specializes in photos of churches, cemeteries, and the Way of St. James in Spain. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @nilesite and visit her website: http: //TheBackpackPress.com.

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com


  1. "I needed to concentrate," Trond says at the start of the book (pg. 7), explaining his decision to move to the country. Do you think he is happy in his isolation? Is he making a brave choice by withdrawing to the country, as he has always dreamt of doing; or do you think he's fleeing the responsibilities of his life?

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