Novel 11, Book 18

Novel 11, Book 18

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 dabble in amateur dramatics. 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 for ever.

He finds a fellow conspirator in Dr Schiøtz, who has a secret of his own and offers to help Bjørn carry his preposterous and dangerous plan through to its logical conclusion. However, the sudden reappearance of his son both fills Bjørn with new hope and complicates matters. The desire to gamble with his comfortable existence proves irresistible, however, taking him to Vilnius in Lithuania, where very soon he cannot tell whether he's tangled up in a game or reality.

Novel 11, Book 18, for which Dag Solstad received the Norwegian Critics' Prize for Literature, is an uncompromising and concentrated existential novel that accommodates all of the author's fundamental themes.

**

Review

"He's a kind of surrealistic writer, very strange novels. I think that's serious literature" -- Haruki Murakami "unexpectedly moving... [a] wry, fantastic book" Irish Times Books of The Year "Brilliant and subtle... What matters is Solstad's dedicated application to the mysteries of human conduct and relations that his town treasurer illustrates" -- Paul Binding Independent "Bleak, funny, brilliantly observed" The Times

About the Author

Dag Solstad has been a central figure in Norwegian literature since his debut in 1965 and is now considered to be the country's leading contemporary author. His work has consistently won critical acclaim and numerous Norwegian literary prizes. His first novel to be translated into English, Shyness and Dignity, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2006.

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