First edition cover
|Publisher||Gyldendal Norsk Forlag
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
|Followed by||Redaktør Lynge|
The community of a small Norwegian coastal town is shaken by the arrival of eccentric stranger Johan Nagel, who proceeds to shock, bewilder, and beguile its bourgeoisie inhabitants with his bizarre behavior, feverish rants, and uncompromising self-revelations.
The novel was originally published in Norwegian in Norway in 1892. It was translated into English by Gerry Bothmer and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1971, with an afterword by Isaac Bashevis Singer, who said, "The whole school of fiction in the 20th century stems from Hamsun." Mysteries is said to have "the shape and spirit of the modern novel, produced at a time when the modern novel did not yet exist."