In the Wake

A Novel

Per Petterson


Download Image Per Petterson In the Wake

Available Formats

When Arvid Jansen comes-to one morning in the doorway of a bookstore in Oslo, Norway, his grief comes back to him in devastating flashes: His parents and his brothers are dead, he has lost touch with his wife and daughters, abandoned his career as a writer and bookseller. His old life is gone.
In the Wake is the story of Arvid's first steps toward resuming that life, of his gradual confrontation with everything he lost and ultimately with his own role in the disaster that killed his family.
Told with the insight and moral force of his countryman Knut Hamsun, In the Wake is the American debut of a treasured European writer.

Connect with the Author

Per Petterson

Related Links

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter

Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
It was something to do with a face. I had never seen it
before, yet I did recognise it, but as it comes to me now,
the thought of it is unpleasant. Someone gave me a gin.
I had had enough already. I see my hand around the
glass, the glass is full to the brim, and then I do not
remember anything more except that face, and now I
stand with my forehead against the glass of this
bookshop door, and I kick at the door. They have to let
me in. I do not know how long I have been standing
here. I have been out of this world and now I am back,
and I don’t feel

Read the full excerpt



Praise for In the Wake

"Per Petterson demonstrates, through his own commanding art, the solace of the written word as well as the necessity of human connection. It is understandable why European readers have long admired his work."--The New York Times
"This riveting story is as universal as love and death . . . Holds the reader in a hypnotic thrall."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Petterson's words have a music reminiscent of W. G. Sebald."--The New York Times Book Review
"A profound novel. Masterfully written."--Library Journal
"An impressive American debut."--Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Per Petterson

Per Petterson was a librarian and bookseller before publishing his first book in 1987. In the Wake is the first of his novels to be published in the U.S. Out Stealing Horses, his second novel, will be published by Graywolf Press in June 2007. He lives in Oslo, Norway.

Per Petterson

Torunn Momtazi
Per Petterson


Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

In the Wake
A Novel
Per Petterson

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
April 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312427047
ISBN10: 0312427042
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages

From The Publisher


Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter