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I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson.. Nordic in a good way, this writer gets under the austere skin. Reverent reverie and retrospective narrative that's too much a rarity these days.

Joel Gardner, LitSnap Editor

"Like an emotional sucker punch, the latest novel from the much-acclaimed Petterson (a prequel to 2006's In the Wake) examines lives half-lived, ending, and perhaps beginning anew. In 1989, 37-year-old Arvid Jansen's marriage is ending and his mother is dying of cancer. Hoping to leave his marital woes behind in Oslo, Jansen follows his Danish-born mother to her home country, to the beach house where the family spent summers. During the ferry ride and the following days in Denmark, Jansen recalls his childhood bond with his mother and his decision, after two years of college, to leave school and join his fellow Communists in the factories. He struggles with his commitment to communism--the title is a line from a poem by Mao--and with his place in his family and in the larger world. Thankfully, there is neither overt sentimentalism nor a deathbed declaration of love between mother and son, but Petterson blends enough hope with the gorgeously evoked melancholy to come up with a heartbreaking and cautiously optimistic work.."

Publishers Weekly

"Petterson tells another poignant, harrowing and sometimes comic story of a man coming to terms with his dying mother, his failures (job, marriage) and his failures in the eyes of his mother: 'You squirt!' But mother and son are bound by feelings and memories for which even the word 'love' doesn't do justice.."

The Wall Street Journal

Author bio: While working as a bookseller for Tronsmo (a radical bookstore) in Oslo, he developed a relationship to literature. He read and conversed with customers, some of them very knowledgeable, about books. He likes James Kelman, Alice Munro and Charles Bukowski. He finally published his first book, Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (Ash In His Mouth, Sand In His Shoe) in 1987, at the age of 35 and 17 years after having first recognized that he wanted to become a writer. This book was proclaimed one of the decade’s most sensational debuts in Norway. Since then he has written a book of essays and several novels that have established his reputation as one of Norway’s most significant fiction writers. More information can be found here:

Book Details: General Fiction; 233 pp. Dreamlike: Kindle/Audiobook/Print editions

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