A Shining

A Shining

Jon Fosse The Nobel Prize

Original title: Kvitleik
Publisher: Samlaget , 2023
Genre: Novel
Pages: 70 pages

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A man is driving without knowing where he’s going. He turns left and turns right, and finally enters a forest on road grooved with deep ruts. He doesn’t stop until the car gets stuck in the mud, unable to move forward or back. It starts snowing, gets dark and cold, but instead of going for help, the man walks down a path in the forest—even though it has already gotten so dark that he can hardly see a thing among the trees; even though he thinks this is a foolish thing to do.

“I’ve probably never done anything worse than this, get my car stuck and then go looking for help in the woods, how could I think I would find any help in the woods, deep in the dark woods, just because of an idea, no, it’s totally wrong to call it an idea, it was more like an impulse, something like that, something that just popped into my head. Foolishness, that’s what it was. Pure folly. Stupidity. Sheer stupidity.”

A Shining is a brilliant novel about the border between life and death.

Foreign rights

Brazilian-Portuguese: Editora Fósforo
Catalan: Galaxia Gutenberg
Chinese (traditional): Rye Field Publications
Croatian: Ljevak
Danish: Batzer & Co
Dutch: Uitgeverij Oevers
World English: Fitzcarraldo editions
English NA/Canada: Transit Books
Estonian: Eesti Raamat
Faroese: Sprotin
French: Christian Bourgois éditeur
German: Rowohlt Verlag
Hungarian: Kalligram
Korean: Munhakdongne
Lithuanian: Aukso žuvy
Polish: ArtRage
Portuguese: Cavalo de Ferro
Romanian: Pandora
Serbian: Treci Trg
Slovakia: Modrý Peter
Spanish: Random House
Swedish: Bonniers förlag
Vietnam: ThienTriThuc

Fosse uses fleeting allusions to a world beyond the reach of the narrator to explore some of humanity’s most elusive pursuits, certainty and inviolability among them. His bracingly clear prose imbues the story’s ambiguities with a profundity both revelatory and familiar.

The New Yorker

A Shining can be read in many ways: as a realistic monologue; as a fable; as a Christian-inflected allegory; as a nightmare painstakingly recounted the next morning, the horror of the experience still pulsing under the words, though somewhat mitigated by the small daily miracle of daylight. I think the great splendour of Fosse’s fiction is that it so deeply rejects any singular interpretation; as one reads, the story does not sound a clear singular note, but rather becomes a chord with all the many possible interpretations ringing out at once.

The Guardian

With A Shining, Jon Fosse has written a short masterpiece about death. A Shining is, simply put, great literature.

Dagbladet

Jon Fosse gives his aesthetic side free rein in a strange and beautiful story about a man whose car gets stuck in the snow. In the end, you don’t read Fosse to decipher his symbols, but to be reminded of how wondrous our reality really is—beautiful and painful at once—and to take a step back, out of respect for the mystery.

Morgenbladet

If you’re looking for winter reading one evening while the snow melts, A Shining is an excellent choice. You can feel the cold, see the snow, fear the coming darkness. Then discover something completely new in a second reading—a new image, a new association, even a bit of humor.

Dagsavisen

Jon Fosse has already set the bar high for this year in Norwegian fiction. […] There is a lot of concentrated power and depth in this bouillon cube of a story. A Shining is like a concise echo of the masterpiece Septology.

VG

Jon Fosse

Portrett jf kred agnete brun
Photo: Agnete Brun

Nobel Prize-winner Jon Fosse (b. 1959), is widely considered one of the most important writers of our time. For almost forty years, he has written novels, plays, poems, stories, essays, and children’s books. His award-winning work has been translated into more than fifty languages and his plays have been staged over a thousand times all over the world.

Jon Fosse grew up in Strandebarm, a small village in the western part of Norway, he now lives in the Grotten, an honorary residence in Oslo, as well as in Hainburg, Austria, and Frekhaug, Norway.

Fosse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2023 and has received numerous prizes, both in Norway and internationally through the years.

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