Putting World Fiction On The Map 

New Nordic Writing

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Saturday October 26, 2019 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
What compels authors to capture family secrets? Linda Boström Knausgård, Vigdis Hjorth and Mazen Maarouf discuss the often thin line between fiction and reality. Celebrated Swedish author Knausgård?s latest novel Welcome to America received the prestigious Swedish August Prize, and captures a family on the brink of silence. A young daughter has stopped talking, believing she has killed her father. Her brother barricades himself in his room, while their mother, a successful actress, continues as normal. A scintillating portrait of a sensitive, strong-willed child and a young mind in the throes of trauma, a family on the brink of implosion, and the love that threatens to tear them apart. One of Norway?s most highly regarded novelists, Hjorth?s newly translated novel Will and Testament was a bestseller and caused a sensation with its frank portrayal of family life. Following the story of four siblings consumed by a terrible secret, the novel asks to what degree should the horrors of the past be allowed to shake the present? Palestinian-Icelandic writer Mazen Maarouf?s collection of short stories Jokes for the Gunmen was longlisted for the Booker International Prize, and introduced a blazing new talent. Often set in war-torn and nameless cities, Maarouf?s stories explore family dynamics when pushed to extremes, as in the title story, when the bond between father and son is tested by the capricious rules of life in a city where bombs rain down indiscriminately.