Against Art

The Notebooks

Tomas Espedal

Translated by James Anderson


5 x 8 inches, 172pp. December 2011

ISBN : 9780857420183 & 9780857426775

Rs  425.00 (HB)     499.00 (PB)
$21.00 (HB)     19.00 (PB)
£13.50 (HB)     12.99 (PB)

Buy (HB)       Buy (PB)

In contemporary Norwegian fiction Tomas Espedal’s work stands out as uniquely personal; it can be difficult to separate the fiction from Espedal’s own experiences. In that vein, his novel Against Art is not just the story of a boy growing up to be a writer, but it is also the story of writing. Specifically, it is about the profession of writing—the routines, responsibility and obstacles. Yet, Against Art is also about being a father, a son and a grandson; about a family and a family’s tales, and about how preceding generations mark their successors. It is at once about choices and changes, about motion and rest, about moving to a new place and about living.


'One of the most beautiful, most important books I've read for years.'—Klassekampen


'Espedal has written an amazingly rich novel, which will assuredly stand out as one of the year’s best and will also further fortify the quality of Norwegian literature abroad.'— Adresseavisen


'Against Art attacks literature while at the same time being intensely literary. Our greatest sorrows and torments, the individual experiences often so anemic in art, find a voice of their own.'—Morgenbladet


'Against Art moves me with its maternal history and proves yet again that Tomas Espedal writes great novels.'—Dag og Tid

Tomas Espedal (b. 1961) debuted as a writer in 1988. In 1991, he won awards in the P2/Bokklubbens rome competition for She and I. Founder of the Bergen International Poetry Festival, Espedal’s later works explore the relationship between the novel and other genres such as essays, letters, diaries, autobiography and travelogue. Espedal’s Go. Or the Art of Living a Wild and Poetic Life (2006) and Nearly Art (2009) have been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. 


James Anderson’s literary translations from the Norwegian include Berlin Poplars by Anne B. Ragde, Nutmeg by Kristin Valla, and several books by Jostein Gaarder.

Seagull World Literature