Dag Solstad: Tom Sandberg

Dag Solstad

Dag Solstad (b. 1941) has written nearly thirty books, including Professor Andersen’s Night and Novel 11, Book 18 (forthcoming from New Directions). Admired worldwide by writers as diverse as Peter Handke and Karl Ove Knausgaard, Solstad has won the 2006 Brage Prize, the 1989 Nordic Council’s Prize for Literature, and the Norwegian Critics’ Prize in 1969, 1992, and 1999.

Novel 11, Book 18

Fiction by Dag Solstad

Translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad

Bjørn Hansen, a respectable town treasurer, has just turned fifty and is horrified by the thought that chance has ruled his life. Eighteen years ago he left his wife and their two-year-old son for his mistress, who persuaded him to start afresh in a small, provincial town and to devote himself to an amateur theater. In time that relationship also faded, and after four years of living alone Bjørn contemplates an extraordinary course of action that will change his life forever.…
More Information

Professor Andersen's Night

Fiction by Dag Solstad

Translated from the Norwegian by Agnes Scott Langeland

In this existential murder mystery, it is Christmas Eve, and fifty-five-year-old professor Pål Andersen is alone, drinking coffee and cognac in his living room. Lost in thought, he looks out the window and sees a man strangle a woman in the apartment across the street. Failing to report the crime, he becomes paralyzed by his indecision. Professor Andersen’s Night is an unsettling yet highly entertaining novel, written in Dag Solstad’s signature concise, dark, and witty prose.…
More Information

T Singer

Fiction by Dag Solstad

Translated from the Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally

T Singer begins with thirty-four-year-old Singer graduating from library school and traveling by train from Oslo to the small town of Notodden, located in the mountainous Telemark region of Norway. There he plans to begin a deliberately anonymous life as a librarian. But Singer unexpectedly falls in love with the ceramicist Merete Saethre, who has a young daughter from a previous relationship. After a few years together, the couple is on the verge of separating, when a car accident prompts a dramatic change in Singer’s life.…
More Information

Armand V

Fiction by Dag Solstad

Translated by Steven T. Murray

Armand is a diplomat rising through the ranks of the Norwegian foreign office, but he’s caught between his public duty to support foreign wars in the Middle East and his private disdain for Western intervention. He hides behind knowing, ironic statements, which no one grasps and which change nothing. Armand’s son joins the Norwegian SAS to fight in the Middle East, despite being specifically warned against such a move by his father, and this leads to catastrophic, heartbreaking consequences.…
More Information
With sublime restraint and subtle modulation, Solstad conveys an entire age of sorrow and loss.
Publishers Weekly
He is an ironist, a comedian, and an experimenter…Solstad has continually broken the available forms, trying out and combining new approaches—conventional and postmodernist, realist and formalist.
—James Wood, The New Yorker
All of the whispers have been right: Solstad is a vital novelist.
—Charles Finch, New York Times Book Review
There is much comedy and real subtlety, both intellectual and human, in Solstad’s droll originality.
—James Wood, The New Yorker
Norway’s bravest, most intelligent novelist.
—Per Petterson
Solstad’s language sparkles with its new old-fashioned elegance, and radiates a unique luster, inimitable and full of elan.
—Karl Ove Knausgaard
With sublime restraint and subtle modulation, Solstad conveys an entire age of sorrow and loss.
Publishers Weekly
Solstad’s growing reputation in the English-speaking world rests on just a small sliver of his oeuvre, after he “retired” the theme of communism. In the 1990s, he published four slim, disturbed novels, which Solstad said are “reasonable to view as a suite,” about men in contemporary Norwegian society who see themselves, wrongly and rightly, as drifting outside the bounds of conventional life. These novels—Novel 11, Book 18 (1992), Shyness and Dignity (1994), Professor Andersen’s Night (1996), and T. Singer (1999)—have all been translated into English. They are stripped-down, hallucinatory works, unsentimentally scrutinizing the male protagonists as they crack under the pressures of an increasingly consumerist and atomized social world.
—Matt B. Weir, Dissent
Solstad, regarded by Norwegians as arguably their finest and surely their most critically praised and influential contemporary novelist, pairs his deep political engagement with an ever-renewed formal invention. With each new novel, he startles us, his readers, yet again with something unexpected. I find him, with his spirited intelligence, a delight and an inspiration to read, whether (haltingly!) in Norwegian or, over the past few years, happily, gratefully, in English translation.
—Lydia Davis
Solstad, regarded by Norwegians as arguably their finest and surely their most critically praised and influential contemporary novelist, pairs his deep political engagement with an ever-renewed formal invention. With each new novel, he startles us, his readers, yet again with something unexpected. I find him, with his spirited intelligence, a delight and an inspiration to read, whether (haltingly!) in Norwegian or, over the past few years, happily, gratefully, in English translation.
—Lydia Davis
Solstad, regarded by Norwegians as arguably their finest and surely their most critically praised and influential contemporary novelist, pairs his deep political engagement with an ever-renewed formal invention. With each new novel, he startles us, his readers, yet again with something unexpected. I find him, with his spirited intelligence, a delight and an inspiration to read, whether (haltingly!) in Norwegian or, over the past few years, happily, gratefully, in English translation.
—Lydia Davis
There’s an undeniable beauty in the way he raises tedious self-reflexivity to the level of music.
Southwest Review
I find him an utterly hypnotic and utterly humane writer.
—James Wood, The New Yorker
Full of dryly comic, densely existential despair.
The Times Literary Supplement
Death occupies the space between each of the footnotes that make up the corpus of Armand V, but what Solstad ultimately celebrates in it is the freedom of the novelist, and of the novel form, even as the soon-to-be-curtailed lives of his aging protagonists deny freedom’s very existence. It is a grand negation.
The Times Literary Supplement
The Solstadian long sentence feeds back into itself, meandering with the aimless inevitability of a river heading towards the sea.
The Guardian
His strangely shaped, peculiarly textured worlds have very much to say to us about the truth of this reality we inhabit.
Literary Hub
A story at once traditional and postmodern.
Kirkus
Solstad has a revered role in Norway as the chronicler of his country’s changing times.
The Independent
Dag Solstad serves up another helping of his wan and wise almost-comedy.
—Geoff Dyer
He’s a kind of surrealistic writer—serious literature.
—Haruki Murakami
His language sparkles with its new old-fashioned elegance, and radiates a unique luster, inimitable and full of élan.
—Karl Ove Knausgaard
< Eka Kurniawan Beatriz Bracher >