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About the Author

Jon Fosse was born in 1959 on the west coast of Norway. Since his 1983 fiction debut, Raudt, svart [Red, Black], Fosse has written prose, poetry, essays, short stories, children’s books and over forty plays. In 2023, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable’. Published originally as a trilogy, Septology is collected here in one volume.


‘Jon Fosse is a major European writer.’
— Karl Ove Knausgaard

‘Fosse has written a strange mystical moebius strip of a novel, in which an artist struggles with faith and loneliness, and watches himself, or versions of himself, fall away into the lower depths. The social world seems distant and foggy in this profound, existential narrative.’
— Hari Kunzru, author of White Tears

‘I hesitate to compare the experience of reading these works to the act of meditation. But that is the closest I can come to describing how something in the critical self is shed in the process of reading Fosse, only to be replaced by something more primal. A mood. An atmosphere. The sound of words moving on a page.’
— Ruth Margalit, New York Review of Books

‘Septology feels momentous.’
— Catherine Taylor, Guardian

‘Having read the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse’s Septology, an extraordinary seven-novel sequence about an old man’s recursive reckoning with the braided realities of God, art, identity, family life and human life itself, I’ve come into awe and reverence myself for idiosyncratic forms of immense metaphysical fortitude.’
— Randy Boyagoda, New York Times

‘Time soon loses its meaning, or at least some of its hold over us. Picking up Septology after a while is like slipping back into a gently flowing river, your body buoyed by the current of ‘and’s, ‘yes’s and ‘I think’s. Memories, everyday observations, prayer, spectres of lives not lived – these all bleed into one seamless whole…The effect is subtle and cumulative. Any attempt to isolate and analyse it collapses its magic, like a kind of literary quantum phenomenon.’
— Frazer McDiarmid, Oxford Review of Books

‘The narrative keeps circling, inching slowly, as interior monologues sometimes do, and the way a painting might gradually appear from a cumulation of small brushstrokes.The effect is meditative, devotional, like the rhythm of the Christian liturgy…The reader may sometimes feel weary with the amount of words here too. But there is generosity. And persistence, like in the rituals of worship and devotion, is rewarded.’
— Nick Mattiske, Insights

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