My Men

My Men

Victoria Kielland

Original title: Mine menn
Publisher: No Comprendo Press, 2021
Genre: Novel
Pages: 200 pages

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My Men is a work of fiction inspired by actual events, about Brynhild, a Norwegian servant girl, who emigrated to America in the late 19th century and became Bella Sørensen, then Belle Gunness of La Porte, Indiana. After her death Belle is known as Americas first female seriekiller, but Kielland writes, in an urgent language, about a broken person, one who is always yearning, about going to the ends of the earth, about those who refuse to lose themselves; those who shall live and those who must die. No one who loves with their whole self can survive.

One of NORLA’s Selected titles this autumn.

Foreign rights

French: Dalva

“One of the best young authors we have … She writes about a broken person but one who is always yearning, a woman of perilous inner abysses.… Kielland approaches her ferocious main character with the utmost seriousness, writing her into existence with sentences full of an infectiously reckless triumph. The narrative voice in the novel is one of absolute solitude, but in spite of Brynhild’s inability to live a good life there is also affirmation in Kielland’s urgent language. … Kielland makes Brynhild tragic rather than cold-blooded. By tethering her rage to typically female experiences, My Men vindicates her, in a sense … There is a dynamic feminist element in Kielland’s story of desire …. Kielland is a writer who prevails through insisting on warmth as well as violence.”

Carina Elisabeth Beddari, Morgenbladet

“Gripping, unique, and amazingly well-written … [Kielland] paints a nuanced portrait of this woman who defied the limited social opportunities granted to her and took her life into her own hands … An exceptionally good book.”

Ulla Svalheim, Vårt Land

“Who writes like this? The book recalls modernist precursors, with prose bordering on poetry and almost tactile, at the very least sensual, as if the words are getting stuck to your fingers. More than anything else it is this great sensuality—this aesthetic experience, to put it a bit pretentiously—which makes My Men, and Kielland’s writing in general, unusual and extraordinary”.

Even Teistung, Bokmagasinet, Klassekampen

“When Victoria Kielland writes her way into the emotional life of one of the world’s worst mass murderers … Kielland infuses the real events with her imagination, expressed in a powerful poetic prose that is uniquely hers – so powerful that you forget what the main character of the book is capable of. This double-sided quality also characterizes the plot, one of the most beautiful and also most gruesome that I have ever read … The book reads beautifully while also creating a sense of experiencing everything for the first time … a feat both bold and refreshing. Kielland doesn’t hold back; she plunges headfirst into one of the darkest corners of history.”

Joakim Tjøstheim, Dagbladet

Victoria Kielland

Portrett victoria kielland høyoppløselig
Julia Marie Naglestad

Victoria Kielland’s first book, the short prose collection I lyngen 2013 (In the Heather) was shorlisted for the Tarjei Vesaas debutantpris, an annual prize for best first literary work in Norwegian. In 2016, Kielland’s first novel Dammyr <(>Marsh Pond”), was shortlisted for the Youth Critics’ Prize and the literary committee of the Norwegian Authors’ Union awarded her the Norwegian Booksellers’ primary writer’s scholarship. My Men is her breakthrough novel, published to rave reviews in 2021.

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