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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.

Reviews

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

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

The work itself varies between being excessively frustrating to the darkly funny, to the deeply cerebral. It’s remarkably tender, too: this entire project is to give his infant daughter, Anna, a guide to the world as her father sees it. It is, in essence, the world’s most literary toilet book

Caroline O'Donoghue, Irish Times

Superlative… On each subject he 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… It is the grown-up antithesis of the midlife crisis novel, comfortable in its own skin, autobiographical without being exhibitionist

Anthony Cummins, Irish Independent

For all his rapturous passages of ecstasy and agony, Karl Ove Knausgaard can also make you laugh… From sunshine to head-lice, it celebrates the “dizzying intensity of being”

The Economist

Acclaimed author Karl Ove Knausgaard delivers a host of brief but insightful observations about the small matters of everyday life in Autumn… What truly unites these pieces is Knausgaard’s sensibility, which is one part Montaigne (an urge to address big issues), one part Nicholson Baker (an eye for picayune detail), and one part Annie Dillard (an admiration for nature and an elegant prose style)… In the aggregate, the pieces feel remarkably substantive, a call to pay closer attention to the routine stuff in our lives and to allow ourselves to be thunderstruck by their beauty. Autumn is an engagingly wide-ranging set of meditations

Austin American-Statesman Sunday

In the form of letters to his unborn daughter Knausgaard addresses ideas of life and relationships in his trademark deeply sensitive and observant manner

Raymond Doherty, Economia

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781910701638

    August 28, 2017

    Harvill Secker

    240 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Spring
Winter
Fatherhood
Home and Away
Some Rain Must Fall
Dancing in the Dark
Boyhood Island
A Man in Love
A Death in the Family

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