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In the Wake

by

In the Wake Cover

 

Staff Pick

In the Wake is the first novel by Norwegian author Per Petterson to appear in the U.S., but hopefully not the last. It is the story of Arvid, an alcoholic not-quite-former writer struggling with the sudden death of most of his family. Arvid's memories unfurl in accidents and mysteries, revealing his search both for his place in the world and the place he may have had in his father's heart. Petterson is definitely an author to watch.
Recommended by Gin, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Arvid Jansen comes-to one morning in the doorway of a bookstore in Oslo, Norway, his grief comes back to him in devastating flashes: His parents and his brothers are dead, he has lost touch with his wife and daughters, abandoned his career as a writer and bookseller. His old life is gone.

In the Wake is the story of Arvid's first steps toward resuming that life, of his gradual confrontation with everything he lost and ultimately with his own role in the disaster that killed his family.

Told with the insight and moral force of his countryman Knut Hamsun, In the Wake is the American debut of a treasured European writer.

Review:

"In his impressive American debut, veteran Norwegian novelist Petterson chronicles Arvid Jansen's breakdown in the six years since his parents and brother were killed in a ferry accident (modeled after the 1994 sinking of the MS Estonia). Arvid wanders around Oslo and through the Norwegian countryside, sifting through memories of his stern, ultracompetent father and nursing an infatuation with his attractive neighbor, Mrs. Grinde. After Arvid's architect brother attempts suicide, Arvid tries to reconnect with him and pull them both out of the abyss. Despite the gloomy subject matter, Arvid is a witty, self-deprecating narrator who fought with his family while they were alive and misses them terribly now that they're gone. This novel won several literary prizes in Europe, where the Estonia disaster is well known. The events may not feel as immediate to American readers, but many will find Arvid's path of loss and redemption affecting nonetheless." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A profound novel. Masterfully written...both timely and timeless. A beautifully enlightening treatise on grief and identity disguised as a novel. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"This is as fine a portrayal of the course of heartache and renewal as any in recent memory." Booklist (Starred Review)

Synopsis:

When Arvid Jansen comes-to one morning in the doorway of a bookstore in Oslo, Norway, his grief comes back to him in devastating flashes: His parents and his brothers are dead, he has lost touch with his wife and daughters, abandoned his career as a writer and bookseller. His old life is gone.

 

In the Wake is the story of Arvid's first steps toward resuming that life, of his gradual confrontation with everything he lost and ultimately with his own role in the disaster that killed his family.

 

Told with the insight and moral force of his countryman Knut Hamsun, In the Wake is the American debut of a treasured European writer.

About the Author

Per Petterson was a librarian and bookseller before publishing his first book in 1987. In the Wake is the first of his novels to be published in the U.S. Out Stealing Horses, his second novel, as published by Graywolf Press in June 2007 and became a surprise bestseller. He lives in Oslo, Norway.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312427047
Author:
Petterson, Per
Publisher:
Picador USA
Translator:
Born, Anne
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Bereavement
Subject:
Consolation
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
April 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.31 x 5.52 x 0.67 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

In the Wake Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Picador USA - English 9780312427047 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In the Wake is the first novel by Norwegian author Per Petterson to appear in the U.S., but hopefully not the last. It is the story of Arvid, an alcoholic not-quite-former writer struggling with the sudden death of most of his family. Arvid's memories unfurl in accidents and mysteries, revealing his search both for his place in the world and the place he may have had in his father's heart. Petterson is definitely an author to watch.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his impressive American debut, veteran Norwegian novelist Petterson chronicles Arvid Jansen's breakdown in the six years since his parents and brother were killed in a ferry accident (modeled after the 1994 sinking of the MS Estonia). Arvid wanders around Oslo and through the Norwegian countryside, sifting through memories of his stern, ultracompetent father and nursing an infatuation with his attractive neighbor, Mrs. Grinde. After Arvid's architect brother attempts suicide, Arvid tries to reconnect with him and pull them both out of the abyss. Despite the gloomy subject matter, Arvid is a witty, self-deprecating narrator who fought with his family while they were alive and misses them terribly now that they're gone. This novel won several literary prizes in Europe, where the Estonia disaster is well known. The events may not feel as immediate to American readers, but many will find Arvid's path of loss and redemption affecting nonetheless." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A profound novel. Masterfully written...both timely and timeless. A beautifully enlightening treatise on grief and identity disguised as a novel. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "This is as fine a portrayal of the course of heartache and renewal as any in recent memory."
"Synopsis" by ,
When Arvid Jansen comes-to one morning in the doorway of a bookstore in Oslo, Norway, his grief comes back to him in devastating flashes: His parents and his brothers are dead, he has lost touch with his wife and daughters, abandoned his career as a writer and bookseller. His old life is gone.

 

In the Wake is the story of Arvid's first steps toward resuming that life, of his gradual confrontation with everything he lost and ultimately with his own role in the disaster that killed his family.

 

Told with the insight and moral force of his countryman Knut Hamsun, In the Wake is the American debut of a treasured European writer.

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