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. Told exclusively in footnotes to an unwritten book, this is Solstad’s radically unconventional novel about how we experience the passing of time: how it fragments, drifts, quickens, and how single moments can define a life.
Already renowned in Scandinavian literature, Solstad once again brilliantly defies categories, this time in English.
—Lanie Tankard, World Literature Today
This unique, fascinating novel is composed of footnotes to a larger work that doesn’t exist…Solstad is, as ever, excellent at mingling the personal with the theoretical, embedded in the strange beauty of everyday routine.
—Publishers Weekly (Starred)
Of diplomacy and its discontents: an existentialist-tinged character study by acclaimed Norwegian novelist Solstad.
Dag Solstad serves up another helping of his wan and wise almost-comedy.
Since he published his first book of stories in 1965, Dag Solstad has been to Scandinavian literature what Philip Roth has been to American letters or Günter Grass to German writing: an unavoidable voice.
—The Paris Review
He’s a kind of surrealistic writer—serious literature.
His language sparkles with its new old-fashioned elegance, and radiates a unique luster, inimitable and full of élan.