Forthcoming in Early 2021! First English-Language Translations of
Two Works by Acclaimed Norwegian Author Jens Bjørneboe
Winter in Bellapalma and Ere the Cock Crows
Jens Bjørneboe; translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer
Winter in Bellapalma
Publication in 2021
Winter in Bellapalma, a comic novel by renowned Norwegian writer Jens Bjørneboe, follows the exploits of a community of expatriates living off-season in a small Italian fishing village: their lives, loves, and interactions with the locals, including involvement in a dispute between the fishermen and the town fathers who wish to promote the tourist industry.
A shorter, lighter read than most of Bjørneboe's work, it nonetheless invokes social commentary with concise portraits of various personality types and the inevitable collision of values in modern life between greed/progress and traditional ways of life.
Bjørneboe's chilling novel Ere the Cock Crows follows the ethical quandaries--or not--of Germans involved in Nazi concentration camps and human medical experiments in World War II. Dr. Reynhardt rejects Nazi ideology, while compartmentalizing his life as a loving family man and his work on horrific medical experiments performed on prisoners of war. Head of camp Heidenbrand is more self-aware of his Nazi complicity and his reasons for doing so--his own drive for power and wealth. The situation is complicated by the arrival at the camp of Samuel, a Jewish prisoner and childhood friend of both Reynhardt and Heidenbrand. Themes of man's inhumanity to man, the ethics of modern science, and the responsibilities inherent in free will are explored, presaging concerns that continue throughout Bjørneboe's body of work.
Originally written as a play but eventually published as a novel, this first English-language edition includes a re-creation of the original play by the translator.
About the Author
Jens Bjørneboe (1920-1976) was a Norwegian poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist who was arguably one of the most important writers of the mid-twentieth century. He was also a visual artist, a Waldorf School teacher, and a renowned social critic. Although little known in the English-speaking world, his work has been translated into a number of European and world languages and remains highly regarded in Scandinavia. His last major work was The Sharks (Haiene, 1974) and his most critically acclaimed were the three volumes making up the The History of Bestiality trilogy; all have been translated into English by Esther Greenleaf Mürer.
About the Translator
Esther Greenleaf Mürer is a poet and translator who resides in Philadelphia. She has previously translated Bjørneboe’s novels The Sharks (Norvik, 1992), Moment of Freedom (Norvik/Dufour, 1999), Powerhouse (Norvik/Dufour, 2000), and The Silence (Norvik/Dufour, 2000) as well as a number of his essays and poems. She was responsible for the “Jens Bjørneboe in English” website, which was the premiere source of information about Jens Bjørneboe written in English and included translations of his poetry, essays, and excerpts of other works.
Ere the Cock Crows
Publication in 2021