Travelling in a Strange Land
The world is shrouded in snow. Transport has ground to a halt. Tom must venture out into a transformed and treacherous landscape to collect his son, sick and stranded in student lodgings.
But on this solitary drive from Belfast to Sunderland, Tom will be drawn into another journey, one without a map or guide, and is forced to chart pathways of family history haunted by memory and clouded in regret.
Written in spare, crystalline prose by one of the most important voices in contemporary Irish writing, Travelling in a Strange Land is a work of exquisite loss and transformative grace. It is a novel about fathers and sons, grief, memory, family and love; about the gulfs that lie between us and those we love, and the wrong turns that we take on our way to find them.
About the Author
David Park lives in County Down, Northern Ireland. He has written nine previous books including The Big Snow, Swallowing the Sun, The Truth Commissioner, The Light of Amsterdam, which was shortlisted for the 2014 International Dublin Literary Award.
This book becomes a journey shared by the reader and the narrator as the protagonist travels to Scotland to bring his young ill son home for Christmas. As a middle-aged “Everyman” character he travels through frost and ice ruminating on the past while concentrating on fatherhood- its difficulties, its challenges and its triumph. The triumph is ultimately the unconditional love of a parent for their child and this is beautifully portrayed through moments of emotional intensity untinged by sentimentality. The bleakness and unpredictability of a Scottish winter offers opportunities to introduce diverse characters that animate the story but the true warmth of this novel is the celebration of the human heart and the absolute love of a father. Dublin City Libraries, Ireland