cover image The Ice-Shirt

The Ice-Shirt

William T. Vollmann. Penguin Books, $20 (432pp) ISBN 978-0-14-013196-3

Vollman's ambitious seven-part series of postmodern historical novels begins with these two volumes, which focus respectively on encounters between Scandinavians and Native Americans in the first millenium C.E. and on the exploits of the French and the missionary Jesuits in Canada from the 16th to the 18th centuries. (Aug.)