• Picador
Reading Group Gold
I Curse the River of Time - Per PettersonSee larger image
See Hi-Res Jpeg image
See Hi-Res Tif image

email/print EmailPrint

I Curse the River of Time



Book Buy
    
Share this book with friends through your favorite social networking site. Share:           Bookmark and Share
Add this title to your virtual bookshelves at any of these book community sites. Shelve:             
sign up to get updates about this author
add this book's widget
to your site or blog

About The Author

Per PettersonPer Petterson

Per Petterson won the won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel Out Stealing Horses, which has been translated into more than thirty languages and was named a Best Book of 2007 by the New York Times, TIME, Entertainment Weekly, and many other... More

photo: Torunn Momtazi

Stay In Touch

Sign up to recieve information about new releases, author appearances, special offers, all related to you favorite authors and books.

Other Books You Might Like

cover Buy
It's Fine by Me

Picador
Author of Out Stealing Horses A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year Fans of Per Petterson’s other books in English will be delighted by...
cover Buy
To Siberia
A Novel

Picador
I was fourteen and a half when the Germans came. On that 9th April we woke to the roar of aeroplanes swooping so low over the roofs of the town that we could...
cover Buy
Out Stealing Horses
A Novel

Picador
We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It...
cover Buy
In the Wake
A Novel

Picador
When Arvid Jansen comes-to one morning in the doorway of a bookstore in Oslo, Norway, his grief comes back to him in devastating flashes: His parents and his...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Patrick Melrose Novels
Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother's Milk

Picador
NATIONAL BESTSELLER An Atlantic Magazine Best Book of the Year A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year “The Melrose Novels are a masterwork for the...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Mr Golightly's Holiday
A Novel

Picador
Many years ago, Mr. Golightly wrote a work of dramatic fiction that grew to be an astonishing international bestseller. But his reputation is on the decline...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Exiles Return
A Novel

Picador
WITH A FOREWORD BY EDMUND DE WAAL, AUTHOR OF THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES SET IN THE ASHES OF POST–SECOND WORLD WAR VIENNA, A POWERFUL, SUBTLE NOVEL OF EXILES...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Triangle
A Novel

Picador
By the time she dies at age 106, Esther Gottesfeld, the last survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, has told the story of that day many times. But her own...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Nickel and Dimed
On (Not) Getting By in America

Picador
Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans...
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Keep Quiet

St. Martin's Press
New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author Lisa Scottoline is loved by millions of readers for her suspenseful novels about family and justice....
cover Buy
My Big Truck Book

Priddy Books
This is the perfect book for kids who love trucks. On the big, sturdy board pages, they’ll discover bright, bold photographs of all different kinds of trucks,...

EXCERPT

All this happened quite a few years ago.  My mother had been unwell for some time.  To put a stop to my brothers’ nagging and my father’s especially, she finally went to see the doctor she always saw, the doctor my family had used since the dawn of time.  He must have been ancient at that point for I cannot recall ever not visiting him, nor an I recall him ever being young.  I used him myself even though I now lived a good distance away.

After a brief check-up, this old family doctor swiftly referred her to Aker Hospital for further examination.  Having been for several, no doubt painful, tests in rooms painted white, painted apple green, at the big hospital near the Sinsen junction on the side of Oslo I always like to think of as our side, the east side that is, she was told to go home and wait two weeks for the results.  When they finally arrived, three weeks later rather than two, it turned out that she had stomach cancer.  Her first reaction was as follows: Good Lord, here I’ve been lying awake night after night, year after year, especially when the children were small, terrified of dying from lung cancer, and then I get cancer of the stomach.  What a waste of time!

My mother was like that.  And she was a smoker, just as I have been my entire adult life.  I know well those night-time moments when you lie in bed staring into the dark , with dry, aching eyes feeling life like ashes in your mouth, even though I have probably worried more about my own life than leaving my children fatherless

For a while she just sat at the kitchen table with the envelope in her hand, staring out of the window at the same lawn, the same white painted fence, the same clothes lines and the same row of identical grey houses she had been looking at for so many years, and she realised she did not like it here at all.  She did not like all the rock in this country, did not like the spruce forests or the high plains, did not like the mountains.  She could not see the mountains, but she knew they were everywhere out there leaving their mark, every single day, on the people who lived in Norway.

She stood up, went out into the hallway, made a call, replaced the receiver after a brief conversation and returned to the kitchen table to wait for my father.  My father was retired and had been for some years, but she was fourteen years younger than him and still working; though today was her day off.

My father was out, he always had something he needed to see, errands to run my mother was rarely told about, the results of which she never saw, but whatever conflicts there had been between them were settled long ago.  There was a truce now.  As long as he did not try to run her life, he was left in peace to run his own.  She had even started to defend and protect him.  If I uttered a word of criticism or took her side in a misguided attempt to support the women’s liberation, I was told to mind my own business.  It is easy for you to criticise, she would say, who have had it all handed to you on a silver plate.  You squirt.

As if my own life were plain sailing.  I was heading full speed for a divorce.  It was my first; I thought it was the end of the world.  There were days I could not move from the kitchen to the bathroom without falling to my knees at least once before I could pull myself together and walk on.

 

 

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In

cover Buy
Regarding the Pain of Others

Picador
Twenty-five years after her classic On Photography, Susan Sontag returns to the subject of visual representations of war and violence in our culture...
  Bonus
cover Buy
The Hours
A Novel

Picador
A daring, deeply affecting third novel by the author of A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood. In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely...
  Bonus
cover Buy
I Am Charlotte Simmons
A Novel

Picador
Tom Wolfe, the master social novelist of our time, the spot-on chronicler of all things contemporary and cultural, presents a sensational new novel about life,...