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From the publisher
Winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature
Translated by Damion Searls
A man starts driving without knowing where he is going. He alternates between turning right and left, and finally he gets stuck at the end of a forest road. Soon it gets dark and starts to snow, but instead of going back to find help, he ventures, foolishly, into the dark forest. Inevitably, the man gets lost, and as he grows cold and tired, he encounters a glowing being amid the obscurity. Strange, haunting and dreamlike, A Shining is the latest work of fiction by Jon Fosse, ‘the Beckett of the twenty-first century’ (Le Monde).
‘Jon Fosse is a major European writer.’
— Karl Ove Knausgaard, author of The Wolves of Eternity
‘The Beckett of the twenty-first century.’
— Le Monde
‘Fosse has been compared to Ibsen and to Beckett, and it is easy to see his work as Ibsen stripped down to its emotional essentials. But it is much more. For one thing, it has a fierce poetic simplicity.’
— New York Times
‘Jon Fosse has managed, like few others, to carve out a literary form of his own.’
— Nordic Council Literature Prize
Praise for Septology
‘A deeply moving experience. At times while reading the first two books of Septology, I walked around in a fugue-like state, wondering what it was that I was reading, exactly. A parable? A gospel? A novel bereft of the usual markings of plot, time, and character? The answer appeared to be all of the above, but although I usually balk at anything mystical, the effect was haunting and cumulative ... I hesitate to compare the experience of reading these works to the act of meditation. But that is the closest I can come to describing how something in the critical self is shed in the process of reading Fosse, only to be replaced by something more primal. A mood. An atmosphere. The sound of words moving on a page.’
— Ruth Margalit, New York Review of Books
‘Fosse’s fusing of the commonplace and the existential, together with his dramatic forays into the past, make for a relentlessly consuming work: Septology feels momentous.’
— Catherine Taylor, Guardian
‘With Septology, Fosse has found a new approach to writing fiction, different from what he has written before and – it is strange to say, as the novel enters its fifth century – different from what has been written before. Septology feels new.’
— Wyatt Mason, Harper’s
‘Having read the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse’s “Septology”, an extraordinary seven-novel sequence about an old man’s recursive reckoning with the braided realities of God, art, identity, family life and human life itself, I’ve come into awe and reverence myself for idiosyncratic forms of immense metaphysical fortitude.’
— Randy Boyagoda, New York Times
‘[P]alpable in this book is the way that the writing is meant to replicate the pulse and repetitive phrasing of liturgical prayer. Asle is a Catholic convert and, in Damion Searls’s liquid translation, his thoughts are rendered in long run-on sentences whose metronomic cadences conjure the intake and outtake of breath, or the reflexive motions of fingers telling a rosary. These unique books ask you to engage with the senses rather than the mind, and their aim is to bring about the momentary dissolution of the self.’
— Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
‘The translation by Damion Searls is deserving of special recognition. His rendering of this remarkable single run-on sentence over three volumes is flawless. The rhythms, the shifts in pace, the nuances in tone are all conveyed with masterful understatement. The Septology series is among the highlights of my reading life.’
— Rónán Hession, Irish Times
‘Fosse intuitively — and with great artistry — conveys ... a sense of wonder at the unfathomable miracle of life, even in its bleakest and loneliest moments.’
— Bryan Karetnyk, Financial Times
Jon Fosse was born in 1959 on the west coast of Norway and is the recipient of countless prestigious prizes, both in his native Norway and abroad. Since his 1983 fiction debut, Raudt, svart [Red, Black], Fosse has written prose, poetry, essays, short stories, children’s books, and over forty plays. In 2023, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable’.
Damion Searls is a translator from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch, and a writer in English. He has translated nine books by Jon Fosse, including the three books of Septology.