Peter Høeg's first novel is an interweaving of the lives and loves of four families, within which histories time expands, clocks stop or race forward at will.
The dreams and disappointments of the children of the author's magnificent imagination foreshadow the themes of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow and Borderliners.
All the stories in Tales of the Night take place on the night of the 19th March 1929. All show different facets of love - love as violence, love as redemption, as suffering, as wisdom. Each has as a theme a particular discipline: mathematics, dance, law, visual arts, medicine, drama and astronomy.
A young mathematician is led to an understanding of Europe's 19th century Scramble for Africa by a meeting with a fellow train passenger who reveals himself to be Joseph Conrad. A respected judge confesses his love for a young homosexual who he has convicted of immorality. A small, insular town is ravaged by a smallpox epidemic.
Set in the Congo, on a small sailing boat off Lisbon, in the Baltic archipelago and in the author's native Denmark, these intricate and surprising stories, powerfully but wonderfully influenced by the work of Karen Blixen, amount to a rich and rewarding book.