Books

T Singer

Dag Solstad (and others)

‘A kind of surrealist writer’ (Haruki Murakami), who ‘doesn’t write to please other people’ (Lydia Davis). T Singer is the new novel in English from one of Norway’s most celebrated writers, proving ‘good literature makes us wiser about life, ourselves and other people’ (Dagbladet).

Singer, a thirty-four-year-old recently trained librarian, arrives by train in the small town of Notodden to begin a new and anonymous life. He falls in love with Merete, a ceramicist, and moves in with her and her young daughter. After a few years together, the relationship starts to falter, and as the couple is on the verge of separating a car accident prompts a dramatic change in Singer’s life.

T Singer is a brilliant and heartbreaking novel about indomitable loneliness, laying bare the existential questions of life in Solstad’s classic, bleakly comic style.

Winner of the Norwegian Critics Prize

Armand V

Dag Solstad

‘Solstad doesn’t write to please other people. Do exactly what you want, that’s my idea…the drama exists in his voice’ Lydia Davis

Armand is a diplomat rising through the ranks of the Norwegian foreign office, but he’s caught between his public duty to support foreign wars in the Middle East and his private disdain of Western intervention. He hides behind his knowing ironic statements about the war, which no one grasps and which change nothing in the real world. Armand’s son joins the Norwegian SAS to fight in the Middle East, despite being specifically warned against such a move by his father, which leads to catastrophic, heartbreaking consequences.

Told exclusively in footnotes to an unwritten novel, this is Solstad's radically unconventional novel about how we experience the passing of time: how it fragments, drifts, quickens, and how single moments can define a life.

Winner of the Brage Prize

Novel 11, Book 18

Dag Solstad (and others)

WINNER OF THE SWEDISH ACADEMY'S NORDIC PRIZE 2017

'He’s a kind of surrealistic writer... I think that’s serious literature' Haruki Murakami

‘An utterly hypnotic and utterly humane writer’ James Wood

'Without question Norway's bravest, most intelligent novelist' Per Petterson

'Dag Solstad serves up another helping of his wan and wise almost-comedy' Geoff Dyer

'He doesn’t write to please other people. Do exactly what you want, that’s my idea...the drama exists in his voice' Lydia Davis

Bjørn 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. But as time passes, this relationship begins to wilt and die as well.

After four years of living comfortably alone, Bjørn starts entertaining a dangerous course of action that will change his life beyond recognition. This urge to gamble with his comfortable existence becomes irresistible, taking Bjørn to Vilnius, Lithuania, with Dr Schiøtz his fellow conspirator, where he cannot tell whether he’s tangled up in a game or an absurd new reality.

Professor Andersen's Night

Dag Solstad (and others)

It is Christmas Eve, and 55-year-old Professor Pål Andersen is alone, drinking coffee and cognac in his living room. Lost in thought, he looks out of the window and sees a man strangle a woman in the apartment across the street.

Professor Andersen fails to report the crime. The days pass, and he becomes paralysed by indecision. Desperate for respite, the professor sets off to a local sushi bar, only to find himself face to face with the murderer.

Professor Andersen's Night is an unsettling yet highly entertaining novel of apathy, rebellion and morality. In flinty prose, Solstad presents an uncomfortable question: would we, like his cerebral protagonist, do nothing?

Shyness And Dignity

Dag Solstad (and others)

Nothing in Elias' measured life, in his whole career as a teacher of literature, in his marriage to the 'indescribably beautiful' Eva, foreshadowed the events of that apparently ordinary day. He makes sure he has his headache pills and leaves for work as he has done every morning for the past twenty-five years.

He is only too familiar with his pupils' hostile attitude both to his lectures and to himself, but today he feels their impatience, their oafishness, more painfully than ever before and, after their ritually dismissive and bored response to his passionate lecture on Ibsen's The Wild Duck, he reaches a point of crisis.

Shyness and Dignity is the story of a man's awakening to a world that no longer recongises what he has always stood for or his talent. Dag Solstad is Norway's leading author, an icon among Scandinavian writers and a leading figure of the political left. This novel, in Sverre Lyngstad's fine translation, is one of Solstad's major works.

Biography

Dag Solstad is one of Norway’s leading and most celebrated contemporary writers. Solstad has won many Norwegian and international awards, most recently the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize in 2017, and is the only author to have won the Norwegian Critics Prize three times. All three of his novels already published in English – Shyness and Dignity, Novel 11, Book 18 and Professor Andersen's Night – have been listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.