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In the second installment of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s monumental six-volume masterpiece, the character Karl Ove Knausgaard moves to Stockholm, where, having left his wife, he leads a solitary existence. He strikes up a deep friendship with another exiled Norwegian, a Nietzschean intellectual and boxing fanatic named Geir. He also tracks down Linda, whom he met at a writers’ workshop a few years earlier and who fascinated him deeply.
My Struggle: Book 2 is at heart a love story—the story of Karl Ove falling in love with his second wife. But the novel also tells other stories: of becoming a father, of the turbulence of family life, of outrageously unsuccessful attempts at a family vacation, of the emotional strain of birthday parties for children, and of the daily frustrations, rhythms, and distractions of city life keeping him from (and filling) his novel.
It is a brilliant work that emphatically delivers on the unlikely promise that many hundreds of pages later readers will be left breathlessly demanding more.
“Breathtakingly good.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[Knausgaard’s] preternatural facility for description . . . speaks not only to the sheer pleasure his fiction affords, but to the philosophical stakes of that pleasure.” —Mark Sussman, Los Angeles Review of Books
Karl Ove Knausgaard was born in Oslo in 1968. His first novel, Out of the World, was published in 1998 and won the Norwegian Critics Literary Prize for Fiction—the first time a debut had won this award. His second novel, A Time for Everything, came out six years later, won multiple prestigious prizes, and was named one of the 25 Best Books of the Last 25 Years by Norway’s major newspaper; it was his first book to be translated into English (“Strange and marvelous,” said The New York Review of Books). With the publication of the first volume of My Struggle in 2009, he