Ivo de Figueiredo
A Stranger at My Table. A Family Story

"Where does my father’s story begin? Where does my own story begin?"
When Ivo de Figueiredo at the age of 45 years asked these questions, he opened the door to family history spanning over four continents, five centuries and the rise and fall of two empires.
His father's family emigrated from the Portuguese colony of Goa on the west coast of India to British East Africa. They were Indians with European ways and values, trusted servants of the imperial powers. When colonialism came to an end, they became homeless, redundant, caught between the age of empires and the age of nations and were thus forced to fight their way westwards. Some came to the United States, some to England. One got away from the others and ended up in Bamble, on the coast of Norway.
This is the story of a family created by the European empires, and who paid the price for their downfall. It is the story of a family that never stops losing each other, but always manages to find each other again. More than anything, this is an account of a son searching for his father's story, and ending up rewriting his own.
In terms of genre, the work is a mixture between the documentary, the Jewish heritage epos and the post-colonial novel. Ivo de Figueiredo is influenced by authors such as W. G. Sebald, Edmund de Waal and Daniel Mendelsohn.

In A Stranger at My Table Ivo de Figueiredo shifts with remarkable audacity between the minute and the major things in life.

Ivo de Figueiredo

Ivo de Figueiredo
Photo: Ingeborg Lindseth

Ivo de Figueiredo (b. 1966) received the Brage Prize in 2002 for his biography on Johan Bernhard Hjort. In 2006 he published Henrik Ibsen. Mennesket (Henrik Ibsen. The Man) the first volume of the critically acclaimed biography about the author, followed by Henrik Ibsen. Masken (Henrik Ibsen. The Mask) in 2007. Ivo de Figueiredo has also published two critically awarded non-fiction titles for YA readers about Henrik Ibsen and Henrik Wergeland. In 2010 came Mysteriet Ingeborg Køber (The Mystery of Ingeborg Køber), and in 2014 Ord/kjøtt: Norsk Scenedramatik 1890 – 2000 (Words/Flesh: Norwegian Stage Drama 1890 – 2000).
Ivo de Figueiredo works as a critic at Morgenbladet and Aftenposten and is a member of the Norwegian Academy.

Rights sold to

USA (DoppleHouse Press)

Other titles

Mysteriet Ingeborg Køber, 2010
Vol. 1: Henrik Ibsen. Mennesket, 2006
Vol. 2: Henrik Ibsen. Masken, 2007

Foreign rights

Copenhagen Literary Agency
Monica Gram
[email protected]
+45 26 71 60 42


The Language Prize 2016 (Språkprisen)
Nominated for The Brage Prize 2016
The Brage Prize for best non-fiction title 2002.

Edited August 17, 2017 by Copenhagen Literary Agency