Autumn, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
I love the clarity and directness in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s writing. He has recently published Autumn, a collection of very short essays, to introduce the world to his unborn daughter. From inane subjects, Tin Cans or Piss, to profound, War or Pain, he mines the essence of sixty subjects in an original, thought-provoking way. Unlike his behemoth trilogy, My Struggle, (which a friend I had recommended that series to has yet to forgive me), this book can be read in short, satisfying sessions. In an unlikely chapter titled "Adders," the author is able to convey in just a few words, a truly captivating emotional experience, one that I’ve thought of repeatedly since finishing the book. From the many unique pearls, this one: “The parents give the child life, the child gives the parents hope. That is the transaction.” -- which so beautifully encapsulates emotions felt during the author’s visit to the midwife, is now written on a yellow Post It above my desk.
Review by Sarah Ehrenson