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.