Norwegian fiction in translation

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The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken (transl. Alice Menzies): Fraying at the edges

I’ve spotted Matias Faldbakken’s The Waiter popping up several times in the paperback publishing schedules only for it to disappear. I’ve no idea why but I hope it’s because it was selling so well in its neatly proportioned hardback edition that its publishers though better of it. Its publication in the midst of the covid-19 …

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Love by Hanne Ørstavik (transl. Martin Aitken): In the deep midwinter

Although I’ve yet to read Hanne Ørstavik’s The Blue Room reviews of it by bloggers whose opinions I trust were enough to convince me that Love was likely to be something special. This spare novella tells the story of Vibeke and her son, Jon, on the eve of his ninth birthday, each, unbeknownst to the …

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Echoes of the City by Lars Saabye Christensen (transl. Don Bartlett): ‘This is a city so small everyone has the same shadow’

Norway is the one Scandinavian country I’ve yet to visit, slightly put off by reports of ruinous expense and rain, although I’m sure I’ll go at some stage. It’s part of the reason I was attracted to Lars Saabye Christensen’s first instalment of a planned trilogy, Echoes of the City, set in post-war Oslo where …

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The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm (transl. Anna Paterson): Enduring love

I seem to have read more novellas than usual this year. Not entirely a conscious decision – I love that feeling of sinking into a doorstopper, particularly in winter – but several of the shorter novels I’ve reviewed have packed much more of a punch than a luxuriously fat, piece of storytelling often does. Nicolai …

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