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Knausgaard on Vesaas

 Karl Ove Knausgaard, in the NYTBR:

Who are your favorite Norwegian writers? Tarjei Vesaas has written the best Norwegian novel ever, “The Birds” — it is absolutely wonderful, the prose is so simple and so subtle, and the story is so moving that it would have been counted amongst the great classics from the last century if it had been written in one of the major languages. Knut Hamsun’s writing is magical, his sentences are glowing, he could write about anything and make it alive. Of contemporary writers, Thure Erik Lund is my definite favorite. I like Ingvild Burkey a lot too, her new book is a masterpiece, and also Steinar Opstad, Cathrine Knudsen, Kristine Naess and Jon Fosse, amongst others.

The Birds is every bit as wonderful as Knausgaard says: it's lyrical, quietly emotional and ultimately heartbreaking. One of my five favorite novels. It's a shame that the book, and Vesaas as a writer, aren't better known.

August 18, 2017 in Books | Permalink