Twelve-year-old Arvid and his family are on holiday, staying with his grandparents in Denmark. Confused by the underlying tension between his mother and grandmother, Arvid is grappling with his own sense of self. He's on the cusp of becoming a teenager, feeling awkward in his own skin. As Arvid cycles around town, down to the beach with its view of the lighthouse, his new-found freedom fuels his desire to experience life. He feels exhilaration as he strips off his red swimming trunks and taunts a bull before running to safety, and as he jumps into the water while fishing to batter a line-caught fish to death - violence he can't quite comprehend in its aftermath. Echoland is an extraordinarily subtle and truthful snapshot of growing up, with an emotional depth that lingers long after its final pages.
Petterson's debut novel, published in English for the first time
Per Petterson was born in Oslo in 1952 and worked for several years as an unskilled labourer and a bookseller. He made his literary breakthrough in 2003 with the prizewinning novel Out Stealing Horses, which has been published in fifty languages and won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.