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Title: Pastor
Author: Orstavik, Hanne
ISBN: 9781953861085
Publisher: Archipelago
Published: 2021
Binding: Quality
Language: English
Condition: New
New from the publisher

Fiction 1281927

Publisher Description:
A thought-provoking, existential novel -- As Liv searches for meaning and identity in her own life, she must find the words to connect, comfort and lead others.

A major work of contemporary fiction from Norway by an author and translator whose last collaboration, Love, was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the PEN Translation Prize.

Liv is fascinated by words and their edges and echoes. As a student of theology in Germany, she researches how the language of the Bible was wielded against the indigenous Sami people during the 1800s. Liv excavates their past and her own, as she searches for meaning in a scene of Sami children gathering cloudberries, from memory shards of the magical weaver woman from an Astrid Lindgren fairytale she read as a child, and in how misstep and misunderstanding can lead to isolation and pain. After the death of a friend--a puppeteer with bright eyes concealing her inner turbulence-- Liv leaves Germany to become a pastor in a small town in the far north of Norway. An introvert, Liv struggles with her many roles in her new parish: counselor, cleric, confidant, newcomer. Searching for the right words to describe home, she delivers a meandering sermon that sends many of her congregation to sleep (or to the door). Soon she is drawn into the lives of the villagers: she must find a way to comfort the parents of an adolescent who takes her own life. With each new experience and confrontation, fresh questions about faith and empathy and who she is arise. She wonders how language, in all its plasticity, became so stiff and unbending, and gradually, she bends it back toward her, to build her own vocabulary of healing.