Nominated by:

Stockholm Public Library, Sweden

Publisher of nominated edition:

Pushkin Press, UK

Song for an Approaching Storm

Peter Fröberg Idling      

Translated from the Swedish by Peter Graves

2016 Longlist

In the hot, rainy summer of 1955, Cambodia is in upheaval. The first democratic elections, just weeks away, will determine not only the future of a country, but the happiness of three people.

Sar is a quiet, serious schoolteacher, officially campaigning for the opposition, who is secretly working for an armed Communist takeover. Many years later, he will become known to the world as Pol Pot.

Somaly – young, fragile, beautiful – refuses to be tied down. She is the woman Sar loves, the woman for whom he is willing to sacrifice his most dearly held beliefs.

And Sary is the ruthless deputy prime minister – determined to keep the opposition from power by any means, and to make Somaly his lover.

Amidst the poverty and the cocktail parties, the silk dresses, the divided loyalties and betrayals, a love triangle unfolds which will decide the fate of a nation.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Peter Fröberg Idling was born in Stockholm 1972. He began working as a freelance journalist during university and, after graduating from law school, spent two years in Cambodia as legal advisor to a human rights organization. He published Pol Pot’s Smile in 2006. Song for an Approaching Storm, his first novel, was published to great acclaim. It has been translated into eight languages. Peter is now based in Stockholm, with his partner and two children, dividing his time between literary criticism and work on his second novel.

Librarian’s Comments

Peter Fröberg Idling has written a story on the life of Sar, a man who will be known as Pol Pot. A story about love, power and the choices we make.

Related Entries