The New York Times bestseller.
"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.”
—The New York Times
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.
28 August. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into. And I know nothing about you...
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. He describes with acute sensitivity 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. The sun, wasps, jellyfish, eyes, lice--the stuff of everyday life is the fodder for his art. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention. This beautifully illustrated book is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars. Through close observation of the objects and phenomena around him, Knausgaard shows us how vast, unknowable and wondrous the world is.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Karl Ove Knausgaard’s clear-eyed prose is as stark and beautiful as the Scandinavian landscape he documents in Autumn, the first of a four-part autobiography based around the changing seasons. This stunning read by the acclaimed author of the six-part series My Struggle was expertly translated from the original Norwegian. It’s s a moving and exquisite meditation on fatherhood, childhood, and the everyday, ordinary details of Knausgaard’s home life.
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.