Septology
Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls


Paperback | Oct 2022 | Giramondo Publishing | 9781922725363 | 752pp | 210x148mm | GEN | AUD$39.95, NZD$44.99

The celebrated Norwegian novelist’s magnum opus, shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, published in one volume for the first time.

What makes us who we are? And why do we lead one life and not another? Asle, an ageing painter and widower who lives alone on the southwest coast of Norway, is reminiscing about his life. His only friends are his neighbour, Åsleik, a traditional fisherman-farmer, and Beyer, a gallerist who lives in the city. There, in Bjørgvin, lives another Asle, also a painter but lonely and consumed by alcohol. Asle and Asle are doppelgängers – two versions of the same person, two versions of the same life, both grappling with existential questions about death, love, light and shadow, faith and hopelessness. Jon Fosse’s Septology is a transcendent exploration of the human condition, and a radically other reading experience – incantatory, hypnotic and utterly unique.

‘Jon Fosse is a major European writer.’ – Karl Ove Knausgaard

‘The Beckett of the twenty-first century.’ – Le Monde

‘An extraordinary seven-novel sequence about an old man’s recursive reckoning with the braided realities of God, art, identity, family life and human life itself…the culminating project of an already major career.’ – Randy Boyagoda, New York Times

‘A major work of Scandinavian fiction …Fosse has written a strange mystical moebius strip of a novel, in which an artist struggles with faith and loneliness, and watches himself, or versions of himself, fall away into the lower depths.’ – Hari Kunzru

‘I hesitate to compare the experience of reading these works to the act of meditation. But that is the closest I can come to describing how something in the critical self is shed in the process of reading Fosse, only to be replaced by something more primal. A mood. An atmosphere. The sound of words moving on a page.’ – Ruth Margalit, The New York Review of Books