Roy Jacobsen

The Unseen

Again, Roy Jacobsen has written a novel about an unlikely heroine, and he does it better than ever before. The invisible is a monument over human courage and life-saving practical and social knowledge.

The novel is set in the first half of the 20th Century on the island Barrøy. The island is small, there is only space for Ingrid’s family. Life on the island is difficult and the Barrøy family is poor, but certainly not without guts and skills. They live off of their small land, they have some livestock, they fish in the sea and make use of whatever the waves wash ashore.

The dramatic ocean and the seasonal changes make for a plot in itself. Roy’s descriptions of man and nature are breath taking. The family’s love for their environment is brilliantly communicated. A life somewhere else is unthinkable to them. This is their paradise on Earth.

The Barrøy family is depicted with great wisdom, sensitivity and narrative skill. Roy turns their practical knowledge into little gems of stories with metaphorical and existential depth.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017

“(…) the pages are packed full of quiet humour, charming personalities and surprising events. All of this is wrapped up in a dense, poetic and wonderfully imaginative imagery that made me wish the book would never end.”

Brønnøysunds Avis, 6/6

“Roy Jacobsen holds his own among the masters and it would be odd if he weren’t on the list of nominations for the Nordic Council literature prize. With this novel, the small people are no longer unseen. A new monument has been raised to the coastal folk.”

Varden 6/6

“Equipped with a playful, subtly shifting and omniscient narrative voice. Jacobsen drifts in and out of the different family members, and gives each of them a strong and vibrant presence in the text. (…) Roy Jacobsen’s new novel is quite simply literature of a high, high class.”

Aftenposten

“Roy Jacobsen’s new book will stand as an utterly central novel in Norwegian literature. (…) Few Norwegian authors are capable of conjuring up such contrasts in such powerful language: on a par with the best of the sagas, and of Jewish and Greek narrative art.”

Klassekampen

“In The Unseen, Roy Jacobsen shows why he is one of our most important authors. (…) This is an excellent novel. The level of precision is joyous the language is poetic. Roy Jacobsen stays the course. He has the gaze and skills it takes to convey the truth about humanity. The result is great art.”

Vårt Land

“In The Unseen, Roy Jacobsen shows why he is one of our most important authors. (…) This is an excellent novel. The level of precision is joyous the language is poetic. Roy Jacobsen stays the course. He has the gaze and skills it takes to convey the truth about humanity. The result is great art.”

Vårt Land

Roy Jacobsen

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Photo: Fredrik Arff

Roy Jacobsen is one of the most celebrated and influential contemporary writers in Norway, with his four collections of short stories, eleven novels, a biography and a children's book. From his sensational début in 1982, with the collection of short stories Fangeliv (Prison Life), he has developed into an original, intense and analytical author with a special interest in the underlying psychological interplay in human relationships. Jacobsen's great break-through came in 1991 with the novel Seierherrene (The Conquerors) - which gave him a wide audience and excellent reviews

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Other titles

Remorse
Wonder Child
Marion’s veil
The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles
Frost
The Victors
White Ocean
Eyes of Rigel

Foreign rights

Cappelen Damm Agency
NO-0055 Oslo
Tel: +47 21 61 65 00
[email protected]
www.cappelendamm.no

Awards

SELECTED:
Tarjei Vesaas' Debutant Prize 1982
The Cappelen Prize 1997
The Critics' Prize 1989
The Booksellers' Prize 1991 for Seierherrene
The Gyldendal Reward 2006 for Hoggerne
Shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2009 for Hoggerne
The Booksellers' Prize 2009 for Vidunderbarn

Edited August 28, 2019 by Cappelen Damm Agency