WED—July 12—7 PM, free


MoreLectures + Literary

Join us on July 12 for a book talk with Norwegian author Victoria Kielland on My Men, a fictional account of one broken woman’s descent into inescapable madness, out on June 27 from Astra Publishing House! Kielland will discuss her novel, which is based on the true story of Norwegian maid turned Midwestern farmwife Belle Gunness, the first known female serial killer in American history, with translator Damian Searls.

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 event will take place at Scandinavia House. Advance registration is recommended; sign up at the link above.

“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

About Victoria Kielland

Victoria Kielland’s first book, the 2013 short prose collection I lyngen (In the Heather) was shortlisted for the Tarjei Vesaas debutant prize. In 2016, Kielland’s first novel Dammyr (Marsh Pond) was shortlisted for the Youth Critics’ Prize.

The literary committee of the Norwegian Authors’ Union also awarded her the Norwegian Booksellers’ primary writer’s scholarship Dammyr (Marsh Pond).  My Men is her breakthrough novel, published to rave reviews in Norway in 2021, as well as a huge international success with more foreign sales.