Lectures & Literary highlights

EVIL FLOWERS Book Talk with Gunnhild Øyehaug & Catherine Lacey

Tue—2-21-2023
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TUE—February 21—7 PM, free

This February, join us for a book talk with award-winning Norwegian writer Gunnhild Øyehaug on her new book Evil Flowers. With moderator Catherine Lacey, she’ll discuss her collection of playfully surreal stories about love, death, and metamorphosis.

In Evil Flowers, a precise but madcap collection of short stories, Gunnhild Øyehaug extracts the bizarre from the mundane and reveals the strange, startling brilliance of everyday life. A section of a woman’s brain slips into the toilet bowl, removing her ability to remember or recognize types of birds — though she is an ornithologist. Medicinal leeches ingest information from fiberoptic cables, and a new museum sinks into the ground. Across 25 stories, Øyehaug renovates the form again and again, confirming Lydia Davis’s observation that her every story is “a formal surprise, smart and droll.”

Inspired by Charles Baudelaire, a dreamer and romantic in the era of realism, Øyehaug revolts against the ordinary, reaching instead for the wonder to be found in fantasy and absurdity. Brimming with wit, ingenuity, and irrepressible joy, these stories mark another triumph from a dazzling international writer.

This event will take place in-person at Scandinavia House. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

About the Author

Gunnhild Øyehaug is an award-winning Norwegian poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her story collection Knots was published by FSG in 2017, followed in 2018 by Wait, Blink, which was adapted into the acclaimed film Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts.

Her novel Present Tense Machine was published in 2022. Øyehaug lives in Bergen, where she teaches creative writing.

About the Moderator

Catherine Lacey is the author of the forthcoming novel Biography of X, as well as the novels Nobody Is Ever MissingThe Answers, and Pew, and the short story collection Certain American States. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship.

She has been a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Believer, and elsewhere.