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Mother Pleiades

Author: William Heinesen

Translator: W. Glyn Jones   Cover design: Marie Lane  

How well versed on William Heinesen are you? He was born in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, the son of a Danish mother and Faroese father, and he’s generally considered to be one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, Scandinavian novelist of the twentieth century. His novels always contain a portrait of what might be termed a “good” woman: Simona in “Windswept Dawn”, Eliana in “The Lost Musicians”, Liva in “The Black Cauldron”. Here however, the “good” woman, Antonia, is raised to mythological status as the representative of motherhood, the bearer of life who has existed from the dawn of time. This portrayal is placed against the description of a limited circle of ordinary and unprepossessing figures in a small town, much of it as experienced through the eyes of Antonia’s infant illegitimate son from his very earliest days until he is five-years-old. This is certainly not a novel for everyone – seeing as it’s more of an extended prose poem with added dialogue than anything else – but is interesting in a decidedly otherworldly manner, nevertheless.

GM in The Crack

The 20th century Scandinavian novelist/poet Heinesen was ever keen to explore the idea of what constitutes a good woman. In Mother Pleiades subtitled 'The Story From The Beginning Of Time', he takes up a Genesis-like stance to write an imaginative ode. Mother Earth, apparently 'the only haven of happiness in the entire universe', is adored as Antonia, a symbolic representative of human motherhood, is raised to mythological status. As poetic and baffling as Coleridge, it's sure to conjure up some beautiful mental imagery.

AP in Buzz Magazine

RRP: £8.99

No. of pages: 183

Publication date: 19.07.2011

ISBN numbers:
978 1 907650 07 9

World English