Join us for a virtual book talk on Present Tense Machine with award-winning Norwegian author Gunnhild Øyehaug! With author Jennifer Offill as moderator,Øyehaug will discuss the exquisite, wistful, and slyly profound new novel, out January 11 in translation by Karl Dickson from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
On an ordinary day in Bergen, Norway, in the late 1990s, Anna is reading in the garden while her two-year-old daughter, Laura, plays on her tricycle. Then, in one startling moment, Anna misreads a word, an alternate universe opens up, and Laura disappears. Twenty years or so later, life has gone on as if nothing happened, but in each of the women’s lives, something is not quite right. Both Anna and Laura continue to exist, but they are invisible to each other and forgotten in each other’s worlds. Both are writers and amateur pianists. They are married; Anna had two more children after Laura disappeared, and Laura is expecting a child of her own. They worry about their families, their jobs, the climate—and whether this reality is all there is.
Øyehaug delivers another dazzling renovation of what fiction can do: a testament to the fact that language shapes the world.
This event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.
“Playful and poignant . . . The ruminations on existence and purpose consistently captivate . . . Øyehaug steers this to a wholly satisfying conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Gunnhild Øyehaug is an award-winning Norwegian poet, essayist, and fiction writer. FSG has published her story collection Knots as well as her novel Wait, Blink, which was adapted into the acclaimed film Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts. Øyehaug lives in Bergen, where she teaches creative writing.
About the Moderator
Jenny Offill is the author of three novels, most recently Weather (Knopf, 2020), which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize. She is a visiting writer at Bard College and lives in upstate New York.