Karl Ove Knausgaard
in conversation with JAMES WOOD
and an introduction by WILLIAM PIERCE
This event includes a book signing
There will not be a standby line for this event
September 12, 2017
8:00 PM ET
(Doors at 7:30)
First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
There will not be a standby line for this event.
Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome KARL OVE KNAUSGAARD, bestselling and acclaimed author of the six-volume novel My Struggle, and literary critic JAMES WOOD for a discussion of Knausgaard's latest book, Autumn—the first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons. Boston University's WILLIAM PIERCE, author of Reality Hunger: On Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, will provide the evening's introductions.
28 August. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into. And I know nothing about you . . .
I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees. You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this: showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living.
Autumn begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter, showing her what to expect of the world. He writes one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. He describes with acute sensitivity daily life with his wife and children in rural Sweden, drawing upon memories of his own childhood to give an inimitably tender perspective on the precious and unique bond between parent and child. The sun, wasps, jellyfish, eyes, lice—the stuff of everyday life is the fodder for his art. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention. This beautifully illustrated book is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars. Through close observation of the objects and phenomena around him, Knausgaard shows us how vast, unknowable and wondrous the world is.
"Novelist Knausgaard eloquently expresses the delights, rewards, and insights of looking closely in this, the first of a projected quartet of autobiographical volumes based on the four seasons . . . . His writing encourages the reader to see the connections between quotidian things and the bigger picture and to appreciate both continuity and change. Autumn hums in the background as apple trees flourish and days get darker, and one looks forward to what associations he will uncover in the remaining seasons of the year." —Publishers Weekly
"What truly unites these pieces is Knausgaard's sensibility, which is one part Montaigne (an urge to address big issues), one part Nicholson Baker (an eye for picayune detail), and one part Annie Dillard (an admiration for nature and an elegant prose style) . . . A call to pay closer attention to the routine stuff in our lives and to allow ourselves to be thunderstruck by their beauty." —Kirkus, starred review
UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.
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Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.
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