I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees. You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this: showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living.
Autumn begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter. He adds one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. This tender and deeply personal book is beautifully illustrated by Vanessa Baird, and is the first of four volumes marvelling at the vast, unknowable universe around us.
How to be a good father? Children’s birthday parties, unsuccessful family holidays, humiliating antenatal music classics: the trials of parenthood are all found in Knausgaard’s compelling and honest account of family life. Contrasting moments of enormous love and tenderness towards his children with the boring struggles of domesticity, this is one father’s personal experience, and somehow, every father’s too.
Selected from the book A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard
VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.
Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Desire by Haruki Murakami
Babies by Anne Enright
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Language by Xiaolu Guo
Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in The Times and Evening Standard
Karl Ove Knausgaard and fellow writer Fredrik Ekelund kick around thoughts and ideas on football, life, art and politics
Karl Ove Knausgaard is sitting at home in Skåne with his wife, four small children and a dog. He is watching football on TV and falls asleep in front of the set. He likes 0-0 draws, cigarettes, coffee and Argentina.
Fredrik Ekelund is away, in Brazil, where he plays football on the beach and watches matches with friends. Fredrik loves games that end up 4-3 and teams that play beautiful football. He likes caipirinhas and Brazil.
Home and Away is an unusual football book, in which the two authors use football and the World Cup in Brazil as the arena for reflections on life and death, art and politics, class and literature. What does it mean to be at home in a globalised world?
This exchange of letters opens up new vistas and gives us stories from the lives of two creative writers. We get under their skin and have an insight into their relationships with modern times and football’s place in their lives, the significance the game has for people in general and the question: Was this the best football championship ever?
At twenty, Karl Ove moves to Bergen. As the youngest student to be admitted to the prestigious Writing Academy, he arrives full of excitement and writerly aspirations.
Soon though, he is stripped of youthful illusions. His writing is revealed to be puerile and clichéd, and his social efforts are a dismal failure. Awkward in company and hopeless with women, he drowns his shame in drink and rock music.
Then, little by little, things take a brighter turn. He falls in love, gives up writing in favour of the steady rewards of literary criticism, and the beginnings of an adult life take shape.
That is, until his self-destructive binges and the irresistible lure of the writer’s struggle pull him back.
In this fifth instalment of the My Struggle cycle, Karl Ove discloses his personal and often deeply shameful battles with introversion, alcohol abuse, infidelity and artistic ambition. Knausgaard writes with unflinching honesty to deliver the full drama of everyday life, in a breathless novel poised between a desperate yearning to be good, and the terrible power of transgression.
The fourth part of the sensational My Struggle series that has been hailed as ‘perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times’ (Guardian)
Fresh out of high school, Karl Ove moves to a remote fishing village to work as a teacher. He has no interest in the job itself – or in any other job for that matter, his sole aim is to save money and start writing.
All goes well to begin with but as the nights grow longer, his life takes a darker turn. Drinking causes him blackouts, his repeated attempts at losing his virginity end in humiliation, and to his own great distress he develops romantic feelings towards one of his 13-year-old students. And all the while the shadow of his father looms large...
‘Rare and Ruthless... Perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times’ Guardian
Childhood is exhilarating and terrifying. For the young Karl Ove, new houses, classes and friends are met with manic excitement and creeping dread. Adults occupy godlike positions of power, benevolent in the case of his doting mother, tyrannical in the case of his cruel father.
In the now infamously direct style of the My Struggle cycle, Knausgaard describes a time in which victories and defeats are felt keenly and every attempt at self-definition is frustrated. This is a book about family, memory and how we never become quite what we set out to be.
'Intense and vital... Ceaselessly compelling... Superb' James Wood, New Yorker
This is a book about leaving your wife and everything you know.
It is about fresh starts, about love, about friendship. It is also about the earth-shattering experience of becoming a father, the mundane struggles of family life, ridiculously unsuccessful holidays, humiliating antenatal music classes, fights with quarrelsome neighbours, the emotional strains of childrens’ birthday parties and pushing a pram around Stockholm when all you really want to do is write.
This is a book about one man’s life but, somehow, about everyone else’s too.
A Man in Love, the second book of six in the My Struggle cycle, sees Knausgaard write of tempestuous relationships, the trials of parenthood and an urge to create great art. His singular insight and exhilarating honesty must be read to be believed.
Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014.
'It's unbelievable... It's completely blown my mind' Zadie Smith
Karl Ove Knausgaard writes about his life with painful honesty. He writes about his childhood and teenage years, his infatuation with rock music, his relationship with his loving yet almost invisible mother and his distant and unpredictable father, and his bewilderment and grief on his father’s death.
When Karl Ove becomes a father himself, he must balance the demands of caring for a young family with his determination to write great literature. Knausgaard has created a universal story of the struggles, great and small, that we all face in our lives. A profound and mesmerizing work, written as if the author’s very life were at stake.
Shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Award.
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Karl Ove Knausgaard’s first novel, Out of the World, was the first ever debut novel to win the Norwegian Critics’ Prize and his second, A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven, was widely acclaimed. A Death in the Family, the first of the My Struggle cycle of novels, was awarded the prestigious Brage Prize. The My Struggle cycle has been heralded as a masterpiece.