FICTION
Spring
Penguin Pr. May 2018. 192p. tr. from Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey. ISBN 9780399563362. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399563379. F
COPY ISBN
In this third book in an autobiographical series (though this one is billed as a novel), Norwegian author Knausgaard continues the narrative started in the previous volumes, Autumn and Winter. On the surface, it is a paean to the ongoing development, since conception, of the author's now three-month-old daughter. On a deeper level, it represents a kind of exegesis of the author's life with his wife and four children as he struggles with being the sole caregiver for his children. His wife, one learns, is currently incapacitated by mental illness. As he contemplates day-to-day challenges, the author's introspections, seemingly banal, take on a greater significance. This is revealed as he muses on the dark events of the previous summer when his wife was pregnant with their fourth child and sought to end her own life. Through the meticulous reappraisal of these events, the work accomplishes a transformation from a mere mundane description of tragedy to a complex contemplation of self and relationships.
VERDICT This severe and direct analysis of domestic life creates a compelling tension between recovery from traumatic events and a resigned acceptance of present truths; recommended for fans of domestic drama and fine writing. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/17.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.