"Expansive, intimate, and filled to the brim with delight, Gunnhild Oyehaug's first novel is devoted to the unexpected connections between lonesome individuals, mundane rituals, jellyfish, death, oversized men's shirts, and a thousand other things too astonishing to spoil in this sentence. I truly loved this wide-eyed, all-embracing wonder of a book." —Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
Sigrid is a young literature student trying to find her voice as a writer when she falls in love with an older, established author, whose lifestyle soon overwhelms her values and once-clear vision. Trine has reluctantly become a mother and struggles to create as a performance artist. The aspiring movie director Linnea scouts locations in Copenhagen for a film she will never make. As these characters’ stories collide and intersect, they find that dealing with the pressures of their lives also means coming to grips with a world both frightening and joyously ridiculous.
Wait, Blink combines wild associations, quotations, coincidences, and other peculiar details into a unique tale that is both humorous and profound. Full of the playfulness that drew acclaim for her story collection Knots, Gunnhild Øyehaug’s Wait, Blink—her first novel to be translated into English—is a jolt of desire and fantasy, romance and regret: a fable about what it means to own up to the weirdness inside us all.
The disappointing latest from yehaug (following Knots), about the intersection of many lives in Norway, shuttles rapidly from character to character, sometimes for only a page before moving on. Sigrid is a young literature student hoping to distract herself from a recent breakup by throwing herself headlong into studying the trope of women who are depicted wearing oversized men's shirts in literary and visual media. In the opening, she's fixated on an author photo, and the novel transitions, somewhat clumsily, to the subject of the photo: older male novelist K re Tryvle, who has just broken up with his girlfriend, Wanda, a bassist whom he admiringly considers "the ultimate woman." By chance, Sigrid eventually meets K re, and they become romantically involved, even though K re's relationship with Wanda might not be over. Interspersed with Sigrid's narrative are those of Wanda, indignant and hurt over her and K re's breakup; Linnea, a young film director who's ostensibly in Copenhagen to shoot a movie, but is more concerned with chasing the memory of an older professor with whom she had an affair; and Trine, a feminist artist who finds her art and her outlook on life changed since the birth of her daughter. As the novel progresses motivated by pursuit of love, or at least pursuit of meaningful lives without loneliness these women's paths intersect and connections between them are uncovered. Suffused with cultural references, yehaug's novel has intriguing characters and sharp moments, though these are let down by trite themes and uneven prose, and the book as a whole tends to blend together.