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From a Norwegian master, a selection spanning his entire career, of his famously dark and gripping, bleak and haunted stories

About the Author

Kjell Askildsen (b. 1929) is widely recognized as one of the pre-eminent Norwegian writers of the twentieth century and among the greatest short-story authors of all time. He entered the literary scene in 1953 with the collection of short stories From Now On I'll Take You All the Way Home, which received glittering reviews in the Oslo press, but was banished from the library in his home town, for immorality. It was not until 1987, after the publication of A Sudden Liberating Thought, that he received critical acclaim. Askildsen has received numerous literary awards, among them are- the Norwegian Critics' Prize (1983 and 1991), the Brage Honorary Prize (1996), the Swedish Academy's Nordic Prize (2009), and in 1991, he was nominated for the Nordic Council's Prize for Literature.


Askildsen's dry, absurd humour is not unlike that of Beckett... His short stories are packed with irony, and the dialogue is sharp and expressive * TLS *
Offers stark portraits of male sexuality and familial dysfunction that are full of compelling strangeness. Lives surge through a few brittle pages, suppressed loves and resentments threaten to erupt. Characters are rarely isolated but their loneliness is palpable as they steal time in the shadows. Names recur throughout the book so the reader tries to connect people with events, but it's the loose ends which draw you back to these taut dramas * Independent *
Kjell Askildsen has a completely unique ability to write low-key tension between people, razor-sharp and often chamber-like stories that hit you with relentless certainty. -- Sindre Hovdenakk * Verdens Gang, Norway *
Askildsen, who has translated works by Brecht, similarly shines a spotlight on his characters, and that light is alienating and unforgiving, illuminating selfishness and stagnant relationships. -- Literateur
A master of the short story, Kjell Askildsen's unadorned style is not so much concerned with the manipulation of plotlines as with the manipulation of the reader's feelings and allegiances, with the presentation of characters as people, real people, people so like us that it's creepy, uncanny. -- Becky McMullan * Electric Literature *
Reading Askildsen is like falling in love with someone you know will hurt you ... hypnotically alluring * Expressen, Sweden *
One of the great storytellers of the human soul * ABC, Spain *
Stark, minimalist stories, translated from Norwegian, about characters hungry for more than life has delivered * The New York Times *
Relentlessly weird in the best possible way -- Zakia Uddin * The White Review *

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