The Greenlanders

Jane Smiley

05 October 2017
581 pages


Set in the fourteenth century in Europe's most far-flung outpost, a land of glittering fjords, blasting winds, sun-warmed meadows, and high, dark, mountains, The Greenlanders is the story of one family - proud landowner Asgeir Gunnarsson; his daughter Margret, whose wilful independence leads her into passionate adultery and exile; and his son, Gunnar, whose quest for knowledge is at the compelling centre of this unforgettable book.

Jane Smiley takes us into 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.

A sprawling, multigenerational, heroic Norse narrative
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 readers along . . . Smiley is a true storyteller
An epic masterpiece . . . Spellbinding