Read and discuss literature with our Nordic Book Club Online! On January 9, we’ll be discussing My Men by Norwegian author Victoria Kielland, a fictional account of one broken woman’s descent into madness, based on the true story of Norwegian maid turned Midwestern farmwife turned serial killer Belle Gunness. The author joined us on July 12 for a discussion on the book with translator Damian Searls; watch it here.
Among thousands of other Norwegian immigrants seeking freedom, Brynhild Størset emigrated to the American Upper Midwest in the late 19th century, changing her name and her life. As Bella, later Belle Gunness, she came in search of not only fortune and true faith but, most of all, love. In this literary reimagining of her harrowing true story, Kielland’s Belle grows increasingly alienated, ruthless, and perversely compelling in her pursuit of the American Dream. Raw, visceral, and altogether hypnotic, My Men is a brutal yet radically empathetic glimpse into the world of a woman consumed by desire.
“This fascinating, off-kilter novel about a female serial killer is an unexpectedly thrilling read.”
—Karl Ove Knausgård, author of My Struggle and The Morning Star
“Kielland’s dense, lyrical novel offers both insight and opacity . . . Despite the subject matter, this novel is not your typical thriller. The language, in Searls’ translation, is dense, poetic, and deeply figurative.” —Kirkus Reviews