Novel 11, Book 18

Novel 11, Book 18


By (author) Dag Solstad, Translated by Sverre Lyngstad

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  • Publisher: HARVILL SECKER
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 117mm x 197mm x 21mm | 268g
  • Publication date: 16 December 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1843432110
  • ISBN 13: 9781843432111
  • Sales rank: 213,063

Product description

Bjorn Hansen, a respectable town treasurer, has just turned fifty and is horrified by the thought that chance has ruled his life. Eighteen years ago he left his wife and their two-year-old son for his mistress, who persuaded him to start afresh in a small, provincial town and to dabble in amateur dramatics. In time that relationship also faded, and after four years of living alone Bjorn contemplates an extraordinary course of action that will change his life for ever. He finds a fellow conspirator in Dr Schiotz, who has a secret of his own and offers to help Bjorn carry his preposterous and dangerous plan through to its logical conclusion. However, the sudden reappearance of his son both fills Bjorn with new hope and complicates matters. The desire to gamble with his comfortable existence proves irresistible, however, taking him to Vilnius in Lithuania, where very soon he cannot tell whether he's tangled up in a game or reality. Novel 11, Book 18, for which Dag Solstad received the Norwegian Critics' Prize for Literature, is an uncompromising and concentrated existential novel that accommodates all of the author's fundamental themes.

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Author information

Dag Solstad has been a central figure in Norwegian literature since his debut in 1965 and is now considered to be the country's leading contemporary author. His work has consistently won critical acclaim and numerous Norwegian literary prizes. His first novel to be translated into English, Shyness and Dignity, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2006.

Review quote

"unexpectedly moving... [a] wry, fantastic book" Irish Times Books of The Year "Brilliant and subtle... What matters is Solstad's dedicated application to the mysteries of human conduct and relations that his town treasurer illustrates" -- Paul Binding Independent