Love by Hanne OrstavikLove by Hanne Orstavik


byHanne OrstavikTranslated byMartin Aitken

Paperback | February 13, 2018

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A mother and son move to a village in northern Norway, each ensconced in their own world. Their distance has fatal consequences.

Love is the story of Vibeke and Jon, a mother and son who have just moved to a small place in the north of Norway. It's the day before Jon's birthday, and a travelling carnival has come to the village. Jon goes out to sell lottery tickets for his sports club, and Vibeke is going to the library. From here on we follow the two individuals on their separate journeys through a cold winter's night - while a sense of uneasiness grows. Love illustrates how language builds its own reality, and thus how mother and son can live in completely separate worlds. This distance is found not only between human beings, but also within each individual. This novel shows how such distance may have fatal consequences.
With the publication of the novel CUT in 1994, Hanne Ørstavik (b. 1969) embarked on a career that would make her one of the most remarkable and admired authors in Norwegian contemporary literature. Her literary breakthrough came three years later with the publication of LOVE (Kjærlighet), which in 2006 was voted the 6th best Norwegian ...
Title:LoveFormat:PaperbackDimensions:180 pages, 6.25 × 5.75 × 0.68 inPublished:February 13, 2018Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0914671944

ISBN - 13:9780914671947

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Editorial Reviews

"Love is Ørstavik's strongest book." --Karl Ove Knausgaard"Prizewinning Norwegian Ørstavik follows the parallel courses of a single mother and her 8-year-old son during a night that moves unrelentingly toward tragedy... A nightmarish sense of impending doom hangs over these carefully detailed, tightly controlled pages... icy cold to the core." —Kirkus Reviews"In this swift, elegantly constructed novel, Hanne Ørstavik masterfully conveys a sense of entwined dread and longing that doesn’t let up for a second. From the opening page to the powerfully moving finale, this tale of a mother and son is riveting. The characters’ inner lives are illumined by a beautiful eeriness, and the translation’s precision and clarity do justice to the novel’s intensities. Read it: it’ll bat around your brain for a long time afterward." — Martha Cooley, author of The Archivist and Guesswork"Point of view works like a spot of living light in this slender book, with deft perspective shifts occurring between Vibeke, a hardworking, distracted mother, and Jon, her curious, lonely young son, on nearly every page. Mother and son are each on a separate journey, but the reader watches their whole shared life, as memories are folded expertly between breaths in Orstavik's urgent, visually vivid present tense--what a lovely shape. Nothing is wasted. And I'm astonished by the precision and poetry of Martin Aitken's translation from the Norwegian." — Gina Balibrera, Literati Bookstore"You can give it as a gift to anyone, and they will be absorbed." --Aftenposten"Ørstavik describes these tense hours with a fine feeling for language. The tone is quiet, the words believable, the story captivating and engaging without turning into a tearjerker about broken family ties." --Morgenbladet"A wonderful and poetic book about loneliness and the search for love." --La Gazette Nord-Pas de Calais"Simple and subtle, meditative and gripping." --L'Humanité"Love explores the insurmountable distance between people, the elementary impenetrability of them, and tells us about the difficulty of reading the signals of others. In short, dry sentences, Ørstavik relates all the postponed, the possibilities that hang over our lives." --Avant-critiques “A wonder of minimalist prose. . . Curious, and simultaneously a joy, emerging out of such a literary, linguistic power.” — Kristina Maidt-Zinke, Süddeutsche Zeitung “Her style is shy, almost minimalistic; Drama plays out underneath the surface. . . It is namely masterful. . . Perhaps Love, which appeared in 1997, is even a kind of pioneer that contemporary Norwegian literature has followed since then. Everything is inside: loneliness, yearning, self-doubt – and the desperate, but unending will to change something.” — Peter Urban-Halle, Neue Zürcher Zeitung“This book, this small story by Hanne Ørstavik, binds one, and when one finishes reading it, doesn’t let one go so quickly.” —Cornelia Wolter, Frankfurter Neue Presse + Frankfurter Rundschau  “…well-constructed, linguistically brilliant, and such a cruel book that it leaves a cinematic shuddering in the mind.” — Martina Sander, Besser Nord als Nie!"Hanne Ørstavik's literary significance grows from novel to novel... An existential novel dealing with both the heaviness and lightness of language, written with impressive strength and courage... Rarely does one come across such a perceptive analytical mind as Hanne Ørstavik. She gives nothing away for free, there is no overdriven emotion, no sentimentality nor pandering to her public. The story's concept overrides everything, all the layers of the onion are peeled away until we come to the heart of the question. Hanne Ørstavik never makes it easy for herself or the reader in her rigorous treatment of these existential problems. But thanks to a language rich in its precision, with no loss of simplicity, it becomes an experience to follow her to her conclusion. One knows that one has read something substantial which one would not wish to be without." --Dagbladet