A StrangerAlnæs, Karsten: En fremmed
Karsten Alnæs is back with a new historical novel, his first since Sabina (1994); and, as before, his characters and the events surrounding them are drawn from real life. He shows how totalitarian ideologies poison and corrupt societies and people’_ s minds, and how dreams of a better world are broken.
The story of A stranger is set in Spain, in the turbulent era preceding and during the Spanish civil war. A man appears in Palma de Mallorca and makes his way to the home of Gabriel Picornell, a carpenter. He introduces himself as Heriberto Quià±ones, a tunnel worker and a member of the Communist party. He decides to settle in Palma, and eventually marries the carpenter’s daughter, Aurora. But these are turbulent times in Spain: unemployment is rife and the police and military are preparing to turn against the people. And then, civil war breaks out.
Once again Karsten Alnæs displays his brilliance as a chronicler of historical events, and his dispassionate account of one of the bloodiest chapters in Spain’s long history serves to make the tragic love story of Heriberto and Aurora a gripping and unforgettable testimony to a warmth and humanity that transcend the barbarity of war.
First published: 2002, Aschehoug Fiction
Karsten Alnæs: Biography and bibliography