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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.
Novelist Knausgaard (My Struggle) eloquently expresses the delights, rewards, and insights of looking closely in this, the first of a projected quartet of autobiographical volumes based on the four seasons. Writing to his unborn daughter the author and his wife, Linda, already have three other children Knausgaard revels in everyday items such as tin cans and rubber boots; his perfect deconstruction of an old-fashioned landline telephone is a joy. His thoughts take to the heavens as well, whether contemplating the sun overhead, the arrival of twilight, or the migration of birds each year. He is not shy about exposing the scatological or the cruel in life; there is both softness and hardness in his musings, reverence and irreverence. Most of all, his writing encourages the reader to see the connections between quotidian things and the bigger picture and to appreciate both continuity and change. Autumn hums in the background as apple trees flourish and days get darker, and one looks forward to what associations he will uncover in the remaining seasons of the year.