> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 28 August 2017
  • ISBN: 9781910701638
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $35.00

Autumn


Formats & editions


From the author of the monumental My Struggle series, Karl Ove Knausgaard, one of the masters of contemporary literature and a genius of observation and introspection, comes the first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller
The New York Times Bestseller
From the author of the monumental My Struggle series, Karl Ove Knausgaard, one of the masters of contemporary literature and a genius of observation and introspection, comes the first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons
I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees. You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this: showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living.

Autumn
begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter, showing her what to expect of the world. He writes one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. With acute sensitivity he describes daily life with his wife and children in rural Sweden, drawing upon memories of his own childhood to give an inimitably tender perspective on the precious and unique bond between parent and child. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention; this is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars. Beautifully illustrated by Vanessa Baird, this tender and deeply personal book is the first of four volumes marvelling at the vast, unknowable universe around us.

  • Pub date: 28 August 2017
  • ISBN: 9781910701638
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $35.00

About the Authors

Karl Ove Knausgaard

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle cycle has been heralded as a masterpiece all over the world. From A Death in the Family to The End, the novels move through childhood into adulthood and, together, form an enthralling portrait of human life. Knausgaard has been awarded the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature, the Brage Prize and the Jerusalem Prize. His work, which also includes Out of the World, A Time for Everything and the Seasons Quartet, is published in thirty-five languages.

Vanessa Baird

Vanessa Baird (1963) was born in Oslo, where she now lives and works. She has an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, and in 2015 she won the Lorck Schive Art Prize, Norway’s biggest contemporary art prize.


Praise for Autumn

“Diverse and delightful… These sharp little essays, mostly only two pages long, capture the wonder of things with photographic immediacy… This is an inspiring, surprising collection.”

Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

“Knausgaard brilliantly conveys the sense you get, as a prospective parent, that the world is brand new… It’s all beautifully done.”

William Leith, Evening Standard

“In Autumn, a lyrical cabaret beside the grand opera of the My Struggle books, taboo memories and forbidden feelings disrupt the grown-up project of a compendium of fatherly wisdom... Autumn glows with a radiant attachment to 'the world, as it is'... From sunshine to head-lice, it celebrates the 'dizzying intensity of being'.”

The Economist

“The first volume of the Seasons quartet quietly illuminates Knausgaard's profound gift for making the reader see the world in fresh and unpredictable ways.”

Stuart Evers, The Observer

“This book is full of wonders… Loose teeth, chewing gum, it all becomes noble, almost holy, under Knausgaard’s patient, admiring gaze. The world feels repainted.”

Parul Sehgal, New York Times

“Autumn… returns to the scintillating tangent that characterized the early volumes of My Struggle, when he still allowed his midlife self airtime. On each subject [Knausgaard] combines an almost comically microscopic focus with a stealthy flair for producing a bigger picture that is all the more arresting for arriving by surprise.”

Anthony Cummins, Daily Telegraph

“It is when elements of autobiography creep in that the book comes most alive, as when he writes about choosing his father’s wellington boots as a memento after his death.”

Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph

“Knausgaard writes about the textures of ordinariness with a microscopic focus that’s both wondrous and absurd… There are blissful glimpses of nature’s mystery and balance.”

Henry Hitchings, Financial Times

“Taking the old repetitive elements of life, Knausgaard’s detailed observations open our eyes to their unexpected yet remarkable qualities.”

Kathleen McNamee, Irish Times

“Knausgaard’s sentences, as long as waves, use the plainest, least literary language. You paddle out unsuspecting. This is easy, you think, striking out. But Knausgaard writes by undertow. Turn round and you are alone, far out in the drowning solitudes… It is truly hopeful and this, for Knausgaard, is a departure.”

Laura Beatty, Oldie

“Knausgaard is an acute, sometimes squirmingly honest analyst of domesticity and his relationship to his family.”

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Newsweek Europe

“Having given us his saga of experience, these are Knausgaard’s Songs of Innocence… The tension for the reader lies in watching the author navigate his way from the banal into the celestial otherness of the thing he is encountering… Knausgaard sees the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower.”

Frances Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

“There are gorgeous, poetic observations on almost every page.”

Marina Benjamin, New Statesman

“…the modest ambitions of Autumn - ‘to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap’ - add up to a phenomenological rescue mission, one the writer undertakes on behalf of his daughter, but also of himself and his reader. Day by day, radiantly, the mission succeeds.”

Garth Risk Hallberg, The New York Times Book Review

“In these secular meditations, Knausgaard scratches away at the ordinary to reach the sublime – finding what’s in the picture, and what’s hidden”

Rodney Welch, Washington Post


Related titles