The Ice-Shirtby William T. Vollmann
The time is the tenth century A.D. The newcomers are a proud and bloody-minded people whose kings once changed themselves into wolves. The Norse have advanced as implacably as a glacier from Iceland to the wastes of Greenland 'and from there to the place they call 'Vinland the Good.? The natives are a bronze-skinned race who have not yet discovered iron and still… See more details below
The time is the tenth century A.D. The newcomers are a proud and bloody-minded people whose kings once changed themselves into wolves. The Norse have advanced as implacably as a glacier from Iceland to the wastes of Greenland 'and from there to the place they call 'Vinland the Good.? The natives are a bronze-skinned race who have not yet discovered iron and still see themselves as part of nature.
As William T. Vollmann tells the converging stories of these two peoples-and of the Norsewomen Freydis and Gudrid, whose venomous rivalry brings frost into paradise-he creates a tour-de-force of 'speculative history,' a vivid amalgam of Icelandic saga, Inuit creation myth, and contemporary travel writing that yields a new an utterly original vision of our continent and its past.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes Series, #1
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
William T. Vollmann is the author of eight novels, three collections of stories, a memoir, and Rising Up and Rising Down, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction. Vollman's writing has been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Paris Review, Esquire, Conjunctions, Granta, and many other magazines. He lives in California.
- Sacramento, California
- Date of Birth:
- July 28, 1959
- Place of Birth:
- Santa Monica, California
- Attended Deep Springs College and Cornell University
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is a difficult book to sum up quickly and easily. Vollmann changes styles and viewpoint in many places, tailoring each to particular sections of the book. We begin in the realm of magic gleaned from Norse mythology and the sagas. Men can transform themselves into animals, kings rise and fall amid bloody treachery, and Vollmann leads us from mythic past to historical fact, building to the founding of the medieval Norse kingdoms, and their expansion of empire into the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland and eventually Vinland. Filled with some of the most intricate, detailed and evocative prose I have ever encountered, this is a challenging, but amazing book. Rarely do my love of history, and of magical realism find a home together, particularly in a book of such epic reach and skill. Best savored in the depths of winter nights, with plenty of tea...