TUE—May 7—6 PM, free
*This program will take place via Zoom.*



MoreLearning + Activities

Read and discuss literature with our Nordic Book Club Online! Each month we select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices to read and discuss via Zoom. On May 7, in connection with Fog Swept Islands: Faroe Islands Culture Days, we will be reading the Faroese classic The Tower at the Edge of the World by William Heinesen.

Faroese poet, author, composer and painter Heinesen has described The Tower at the Edge of the World as “a poetic, mosaic novel about earliest childhood.” Originally published in the Danish language in 1976, the book follows an old man’s confrontation with mortality as he looks back at his boyhood in Torshavn, where his small-town existence at the edge of the world — or at least the Atlantic Ocean — contains a miraculous larger-than-life feeling.

Considered one of the greatest Faroese authors of the 20th century and a winner of awards including the Holberg Medal (1960), the Nordic Council Literature Prize (1965), among many others, Heinesen is recognized for his books using his remote North Atlantic homeland as a setting for universal social, psychological, and cosmic themes. His last novel, written when the author was 76,  The Tower at the Edge of the World has been hailed as “a loosely autobiographical tribute to the power of the creative imagination” (Paul Binding, The Times) and a “poetic evocation of life on an island that to the vast ocean is ‘just about the same as a grain of sand to the floor of a dance hall'” (Sjón, The Guardian).


William Heinesen (1900-1991) was born in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, the son of a Danish mother and Faroese father, and was equally at home in both languages. Although he spent most of his life in the Faroe Islands, he chose to write in Danish as he felt it offered him greater inventive freedom. Although he achieved international recognition as a poet and a novelist, he made his living as a visual artist. His paintings range from large-scale murals in public buildings, through oil to pen sketches, caricatures and collages.