Friday, October 5, 2007

Out Stealing Horses


Out Stealing Horses Cover I just finished a good book: Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson.  It was translated from Norwegian by Anne Born.  The book has won prizes.  I heard about it in a Sacramento Bee article (newspaper).

It's written from the perspective of a man in his late 60s or his teens depending on which time his mind is in at the moment.  His words and descriptions are beautiful and straightforward.

As a knitter I was taken with this paragraph:

"... and the mittens and the woollen scarf I have worn round my neck for at least twenty years, which someone knitted for me when I was a single and divorced man, and now I cannot recall her name, but I remember her hands from the time we spent together; they were never still.  Apart form that she was still and discreet in her ways; only the click of her knitting needles could be heard through the silence, and it was all too low-key for me, and the relationship dwindled quietly into nothing."

The knitted love lasted longer than the human relationship.  I wonder if this is another instance of the famous wives' tale that says if you knit for a lover before a commitment has been made, the relationship will end.  I wonder what her recollection of the relationship would be, or if she even remembers him.

That's all there is about knitting in the book.  It's a terrific book about aging, the complex relationships we have with our parents, and how our memories of childhood are with us for a lifetime.

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