Jan Kjærstad: The Discoverer
Jonas Wergeland Trilogy 3: The Discoverer
Open Letter Books
August 2009 (USA)*
The final novel in a trilogy of books about the Norwegian television celebrity Jonas Wergeland, The Discoverer finds Jonas released from prison, having completed his sentence for the death of his wife. He has taken a job as a secretary aboard the Voyager, a ship which is exploring the far reaches of the Sognefjord—the longest fjord in the world. On the ship, Jonas works for a team of young people—including his daughter, Kristin—who are engaged in a multimedia project that is seeking to chart every aspect of the fjord in a new medium that merges text, image, film, and design.
While the crew seeks to document the fjord, Jonas is busy exploring his past. For the first time in the trilogy he is allowed to tell his own story, and on board the ship he begins to recreate a manuscript that he wrote in prison, a book which he has already destroyed once, a book which seeks to explore the central mystery at the heart of Jonas’s existence: the life and death of his wife Margrete.
The Discoverer stands alone as a masterful novel in its own right—multivocal, throwing story after story aloft and examining each from numerous angles, and all at once. Incredibly, it also serves as the perfect complement to The Seducer and The Conqueror, both deepening the mysteries contained in those two novels and revealing the bottomlessness of so many others. Jan Kjaerstad once again draws us into the Wergeland universe, and he takes us on a journey that promises to finally discover the truth about Jonas’s life, and his wife’s death.