A Fortnight Before the Frost | Buy Now
Translated by Sverre Lyngstad
202 pages RRP £9.95 paperback 2010 Series B No. 48
On his fortieth birthday, celebrated by a solitary meal in Oslo’s most exclusive hotel, Dr Knut Holmen, a successful middle-aged ear, nose and throat specialist, decides to go on holiday in the past to take stock of himself and his values. As echoes from his childhood and youth emerge, the edifice of self-satisfied bourgeois respectability he has painstakingly constructed slowly crumbles. Searching for clues to his malaise as he revisits the neighbourhoods he knew as a peasant student in the capital, he finds that, from early on, his life has been dominated by a repressive sexual morality. After a series of dramatic encounters and much self-probing analysis, he achieves a catharsis of sexual guilt and can look forward to a new beginning.
Sigurd Hoel (1890-1960) was one of the most influential literary figures in Norway in the interwar period. He was a major novelist, a trend-setting literary critic, a distinguished editor and cultural commentator. Besides A Fortnight Before the Frost, Hoel’s best-known novels include The Road to the World’s End, Meeting at the Milestone, and The Troll Circle.
Nominated for the Open Letter Books Best Translated Book Award 2012.