The Carriage Stone (Paperback)
The first appearance in English of this finely wrought novel by Norwegian writer Holmebakk (1922-81) exploring the fundamental tensions between life and death that perhaps only love and hope can palliate. Two middle-aged men, retired Lutheran pastor Eilif Grotteland and Olav Klungland, a novelist and active communist, meet by accident outside a hospital. Olav has just visited a dying comrade, and Eilif is admitting his terminally ill wife, but these obvious reminders of death are mere introductions to the spiritual concerns that preoccupy both men. Both are at the "carriage stone" in their lives, a stone symbolizing the moment of choice between dying or living.