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An addictive and searingly honest novel about childhood and grief from the international phenomenon, Karl Ove Knausgaard

An addictive and searingly honest novel about childhood and grief from the international phenomenon, Karl Ove Knausgaard
Karl Ove Knausgaard writes about his life with painful honesty. He writes about his childhood and teenage years, his infatuation with rock music, his relationship with his loving yet almost invisible mother and his distant and unpredictable father, and his bewilderment and grief on his father’s death.

When Karl Ove becomes a father himself, he must balance the demands of caring for a young family with his determination to write great literature. Knausgaard has created a universal story of the struggles, great and small, that we all face in our lives. A profound and mesmerizing work, written as if the author’s very life were at stake.

‘It’s unbelievable... It's completely blown my mind’ Zadie Smith


Strangely compelling

Bill Bailey, Daily Express

Knausgaard has a spectacular gift for finding profundity in the mundane details of his existence

Will Storr, Guardian

Strangely compelling

Bill Bailey, Daily Express

Karl Ove Knausgård has started something that could turn out a masterpiece in Scandinavian literature with roots in the tradition of the great novels by Marcel Proust, Robert Musil and Thomas Mann...It is impossible not to be thrilled

Berlingske Tidende (Denmark)

A scorchingly honest, unflinchingly frank, hyperreal memoir of the life of one man and his family


Possesses a wide range of traditional literary qualities in great quantity: seriousness, profundity, and intensity. The rumpus it has caused in its homeland Norway aside: If you want to read a book that matters and achieves great things, just get started

Jyllands-Posten (Denmark)

This first instalment of an epic quest should restore jaded readers to life


As tense as any thriller yet without a jot of sensationalism


Readers will be captured by Karl Ove’s narrative intensity

Times Literary Supplement

I think this is one of the best pieces of writing I’ve ever come across.

Farm Lane Books (literary blogger)

Makes other books seem spineless afterwards.

Just William (literary blogger)

Honest, probably unparalleled in its approach and revelations. It will cause you to reflect deeply after you've completed it, which accounts for why it has been so enjoyably debated. I think Knausgaard's memoirs are likely to have a long rippling effect the more widley they are published and read


Knausgaard's thinking is magnificently unbridled, a veritable flood of thoughts. His description of life in all its variety is undaunted and confident.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

Between Proust and the woods - allow yourselves to be seduced by a Norwegian life...Like granite; precise and forceful. More real than reality.

La Repubblica (Italy)

A tremendous piece of literature

Politiken (Denmark)

This is the first part of Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six book mega novel, based on his own life – and if there’s any justice the craze for Nordic noir should mean British readers greet it with open arms...as tense as any thriller yet without a jot of sensationalism.


A rare achievement. No one in his generation equals Karl Ove Knausgaard's combination of talent, style, observational skills and original thinking.

Dagens Næringsliv (Norway)

Bowled me over... The slow pace of disclosure makes this account of a Norwegian adolescence pulse with intensity


A masterful book that confronts the ordinariness of death. Translator (from Norwegian) Don Bartlett rises to the challenge magnificently


Super Proustian – and also Nick Hornby-esque – novel… It’s great… Beautifully done

Evening Standard

This is writing so vivid, it seems to alter the pitch of reality


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Formats & editions

  • A Death in the Family
    Karl Ove Knausgaard



    March 18, 2013


    496 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    March 1, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    496 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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