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An autobiographical story of childhood and family from the international sensation and bestseller, Karl Ove Knausgaard
A family of four – mother, father and two boys – move to Sørland, to a new house on a new estate. It is the early 1970s, the children are small, the parents young and the future open. But at some point that future happens to them; at some point the future closes.
The third book of the My Struggle cycle is set in a world where children and adults live parallel lives, ones that never meet. With insight and honesty, Karl Ove Knausgaard writes of a child's growing self-awareness, of how events of the past impact on the present, and of the desire for other ways of living and other worlds within what we know.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
I've read volume one of My Struggle and am halfway through part two so I had to skip ahead to this new volume of the Knausgaard epic autobiography, which marks its halfway point. Maybe it's because I saw him speak last year at Sydney Writers Festival and yes, he is a tall handsome Viking who looks like an older version of Brad Pitt. But what was so memorable was his honesty and vulnerability, his willingness to admit to shame and other socially awkward and traditionally private emotions: he set a new benchmark for the examined life.
The plaudits for this work as it is gradually translated into English keep coming (you know you are doing something right when Zadie Smith is a fan). It is sweeping, intense, and incredibly intimate. This third instalment is all saturated colour like an early Kodak snapshot from an old family album. I see a boy running between sand hills on an isolated island in a Norwegian summer. For some reason I imagine him in a bright red knitted sweater, but that's just me. Knausgaard gives us plenty of detail but also leaves the reader room to fill in the gaps.
As a young boy he is full of curiosity about the world and has that wonderful sense of safety and freedom within his community as he explores its boundaries and discovers what makes him, his family and friends tick. He learns to navigate his father's harshness and that not all fathers are alike. The prose is pared back, unadorned, as plain as a stripped pine table, but utterly compelling and addictive. I can't wait for more.
About the Author
Karl Ove Knausgaard's first novel, Out of the World, was the first ever debut novel to win The Norwegian Critics' Prize. His second novel, A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven, was widely acclaimed. A Death in the Family the first instalment in the epic My Struggle cycle, was awarded the prestigious Brage Award and is being heralded as a masterpiece wherever it appears.
"Via his visceral, immersive art, Knausgaard makes the heart visible" -- Boyd Tonkin Independent "Knausgaard finds the sublime in the everyday... Boyhood Island reverberates with the joys and anxieties of early youth, and Knausgaard brilliantly recreates their exaggerated feel" -- Thomas Meaney Times Literary Supplement "Compelling and addictive... One of the most grown-up works of fiction we have" -- Hermione Hoby Observer "Knausgaard's Proustian attention to detail and scrupulous analysis of emotional nuance is almost maddening - but ultimately magnificent" Vogue "Knausgaard continues masterfully" -- Malcolm Forbes Literary Review
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 1st April 2014
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.3 x 3.7
Weight (kg): 0.65