By Jane Smiley
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9781400095469, 581pp.
Publication Date: September 13, 2005
This enthralling epic tale, written in the tradition of the old Norse sagas, takes us to fourteenth-century Greenland a farflung place of glittering fjords, blasting winds, sun-warmed meadows, and high, dark mountains.Thisis the story of one family: proud landowner Asgeir Gunnarsson; his daughter Margret, whose willful independence leads her into passionate adultery and exile; and his son Gunnar, whose quest for knowledge is at the compelling center of this unforgettable book. Jane Smiley immerses us in this world of farmers, priests, and lawspeakers, of hunts and feasts and long-standing feuds, and by an act of literary magic, makes a remote time, place, and people not only real but dear to us.
“Impressive. . . . Haunting. . . . She is a diverse and masterly writer.” –The New York Times Book Review“An epic masterpiece. . . . Spellbinding.” –Newsday“A sprawling, multi-generational, heroic Norse narrative.” –Chicago Tribune“Totally compelling. . . . Fascinating. . . . In the manner of the big books of the nineteenth century, in which complex family and community matters unravel–Dickens, Dumas, Tolstoy–The Greenlanders sweeps the reader along. . . . Smiley is a true storyteller.” –The Washington Post