In contemporary Norwegian fiction, Tomas Espedal’s work stands out as uniquely bound up with the author’s personal experiences. His first book, Tramp, introduced us to the wanderer Tomas; Against Art told us how a boy approaches art and eventually becomes a writer; Against Nature examined love’s labour—the job of writing; and in Bergerners, he is torn between his love for his home town and what lies beyond.
Now, in The Year, we encounter the author’s struggle to reconcile his inner life with the external world, and the myriad forms of love, hate, loss and death—both personal and literary—with the immutable pattern of time and the seasons. It is the journal of a year, a diary like no other. And suffusing it all are questions Petrarch asked: How do you live when the one you love is gone? And when your life force shifts from spring to autumn, how do you find the good death?
Written as a long poem, The Year is Espedal’s riveting stream of consciousness—profound, edgy, sometimes manic, but always intensely intimate.
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