Scandinavian Literature in Translation || Littérature scandinave en traduction

Posts Tagged ‘jonas wergeland

Jan Kjærstad: The Discoverer

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Jonas Wergeland Trilogy 3: The Discoverer
Jan Kjærstad
Open Letter Books
ISBN 978-1-934824-12-2
August 2009 (USA)*

* Canadian price and availability (via Nebraska/Codasat/UTP) not known at this time.


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.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-14 at 00:25

Posted in 2009, à suivre, norsk

Tagged with ,

Jan Kjærstad: The Conqueror

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Jonas Wergeland Trilogy 2: The Conqueror
Jan Kjærstad
Open Letter Books
ISBN 978-1-934824-03-0
28 February 2009 (USA)*

* Canadian price and availability (via Nebraska/Codasat/UTP) not known at this time.


Jonas Wergeland is in prison for the murder of his wife. The most beloved and celebrated television personality in Norway, Wergeland’s programs on the history of Norway held the country in his thrall. The spectacle of his downfall has done the same.

A professor is hired to write the definitive biography of Wergeland, but finds himself unable to process the astonishing volume of contradictory information he unearths—until a mysterious woman appears on his doorstep. Possessing innumerable intimate stories about Jonas, the woman details the dark side of his rise to prominence, and through her stories tries to explain what made him a murderer.

Told in a series of short, interconnected, self-referential, and constantly evolving passages—each shooting off from the last like light from a prism and moving indifferently from the past to the present—Jan Kjaerstad has constructed a wonder of a novel whose form and subject explore what, in the apparent absence of simple cause and effect, makes life coherent.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-14 at 00:16

Jan Kjærstad: The Seducer

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Now available in paperback:

Jonas Wergeland Trilogy 1: The Seducer
Jan Kjærstad
Overlook Press
ISBN 978-1-58567-868-6
24 July 2007
$22.50 in Canada


Jonas Wergeland, a successful TV documentary producer with a touch of God’s gift to women, returns one evening from the World’s Fair in Seville to find his wife dead on the living room floor. What follows is a quest to find the killer, encompassing by turns a picaresque and endlessly inventive look at the conditions that have brought Wergeland to this critical juncture in life. From his hair’s breadth escape from a ravenous polar bear while filming in Greenland to a near-death experience aboard a passenger ferry in the icy Baltic, the Tom Jones-like experiences that comprise the narrative of Wergeland’s life, relayed in Kjaerstad’s veneered and acutely observant prose, provide a fascinating portrait of a media icon at the crux of his journey as an artist.

An international bestseller and winner of Scandinavia’s top literary award, the Nordic Prize, The Seducer is a suspenseful and endlessly provocative novel that continually thwarts readers expectations and rewards them with a uniquely enriching reading experience.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-14 at 00:15