Karl Ove Knausgård

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Karl Ove Knausgård
Karl Ove Knausgård 2010-09-17 (img01).JPG
Karl Ove Knausgård 2010
Born (1968-12-06) 6 December 1968 (age 45)
Oslo, Norway
Occupation Author, novelist
Nationality Norwegian
Genres Fiction, memoir

Karl Ove Knausgård (born 6 December 1968) is a Norwegian author, known for six autobiographical books, entitled My Struggle (Min Kamp).[1]

Literary career[edit]

Knausgård made his publishing debut in 1998 with the novel Out of the World, for which he was awarded the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature. This was the first time in the award's history that a debutant had won.[2]

His second novel, A Time for Everything (2004), partly retells certain parts of the Bible, as well as the history of angels on earth. The book won a number of awards, and was nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize. It was also nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It has been called a "strange, uneven, and marvelous book" by The New York Review of Books.[3]

The Min Kamp books[edit]

While Knausgård´s two first books were well received, it was with the Min Kamp books that Knausgård became a household name in Norway, due to the books' large success, as well as the controversy they raised.

In 2009, Knausgård published My Struggle - First Book, the first volume of a total of six autobiographical novels, which were published in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The six books total over 3500 pages. The Norwegian title of the book is Min Kamp, the same as Hitler's Mein Kampf.

The Min Kamp books caused massive controversy when they were released,[why?] and whether Knausgård goes too far in exposing the private lives of his friends and family, including his ex-wife, has been much debated in Norway. The books have nevertheless received almost universally favourable reviews, especially the first two volumes, and were, even before the final book's publication, one of the greatest publishing phenomena in Norway ever. In a country of fewer than five million people, the Min Kamp series has sold over 450,000 copies.[4]

In a radio interview with his estranged ex-wife, who plays a central part in several of the Min Kamp books, Knausgård admits that he sometimes feels that he has made a "Faustian bargain"—by sacrificing his relationship with parts of his family and friends he has achieved enormous success. In October 2010 Knausgård's ex-wife, Tonje Aursland, presented her perspectives of involuntarily becoming a subject of her ex-husband's autobiography, in a radio documentary broadcast on NRK.[5] Knausgård´s uncle, who is called "Gunnar" in the My Struggle books, has been highly critical of the whole project in the Norwegian press.[6]

The Min Kamp series is currently being translated into numerous languages. The earliest books have already been released to great critical acclaim in Denmark,[7] Sweden,[4] and several other countries. The first book (called A Death in the Family) has been translated to English by Don Bartlett for publication by Archipelago Press (US) and Harvill Secker (UK). In a long and largely positive review of the first Min Kamp books, James Wood of The New Yorker wrote that "There is something ceaselessly compelling about Knausgaard’s book: even when I was bored, I was interested.[8]" In a review of Book 2: A Man in Love in The New York Times, Leland de la Durantaye called the My Struggle series "breathtakingly good" and compared it to Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.[9]

Work following Min Kamp[edit]

Knausgård served as a consultant to the new Norwegian translation of the Bible.[10] In 2013, he published a collection of essays, Sjelens Amerika: tekster 1996--2013, and as of September 2013 he is adapting his novel Out of the World into a screenplay.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Oslo, Knausgård was raised on Tromøya in Arendal and in Kristiansand, and studied arts and literature at the University of Bergen.

Knausgård lives in Österlen, Sweden, with his wife, the writer Linda Boström Knausgård, and their four children.[12]


Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Karl O. Knausgaard". Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/kultur/1697341.html
  3. ^ "The Primordial Struggle by Ingrid D. Rowland | The New York Review of Books". Nybooks.com. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  4. ^ a b "Høye salgstall for Karl Ove Knausgård i Sverige / Pressemeldinger / Presse / Hovedsiden - Forlaget Oktober" (in (Norwegian)). Oktober.no. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  5. ^ Gundersen, Trygve Riiser (October 3, 2010). "Knausgård burde være glad". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ http://www.aftenposten.no/kultur/Onkel-Gunnar-tar-knallhardt-oppgjor-med-Knausgard-6699655.html
  7. ^ "Får toppkarakterer i Danmark - Litteratur - NRK Nyheter". Nrk.no. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  8. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2012/08/13/120813crbo_books_wood?currentPage=all
  9. ^ Leland de la Durantaye (21 June 2013): Inside Story The New York Times, retrieved 25 June 2013
  10. ^ http://www.nlm.no/itro/anmeldt/lest/bibel-2011
  11. ^ Nina Berglund (04 September 2013): "Knausgaard cancels all appearances" Views and News from Norway, retrieved 7 November 2013.
  12. ^ "=Hennes kamp är explosiv". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c "Knausgård, Karl Ove / Oktober / Authors / Home - Aschehoug Agency". aschehougagency.no. Aschehoug Agency. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "A Time for Everything archipelago books". archipelagobooks.org. Archipelago Books. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 

External links[edit]