A Man In Love: My Struggle Book 2

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett

A Man In Love: My Struggle Book 2
  • Format
  • Publisher
  • Country
  • Published
  • Pages
  • ISBN

A Man In Love: My Struggle Book 2

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett

This is a book about leaving your wife and everything you know. It is about fresh starts, about love, about friendship. It is also about the earth-shattering experience of becoming a father, the mundane struggles of family life, ridiculously unsuccessful holidays, humiliating antenatal music classes, fights with quarrelsome neighbours, the emotional strains of childrens' birthday parties and pushing a pram around Stockholm when all you really want to do is write. This is a book about one man’s life but, somehow, about everyone else’s too.

A Man in Love, the second book of six in the My Struggle cycle, sees Knausgaard write of tempestuous relationships, the trials of parenthood and an urge to create great art. His singular insight and exhilarating honesty must be read to be believed. This is another international sensation from the publishers of HHhH, 1Q84 and Coetzee’s Summertime.

Fans include Zadie Smith, Jonathan Lethem, Hari Kunzru, Jeffrey Eugenides, James Wood and Rachel Cusk.

Review

In 1908, Romain Rolland, the French author who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1915, coined the term roman-fleuve – literally, ‘river-novel’ – in order to describe his own ten volume work of fiction, Jean-Christophe. The metaphor he was invoking is easy enough to understand. A long, unbroken sequence of novels, the roman-fleuve at once commentates a generation and expresses all the ebbs and flows of a single life.

The most famous roman-fleuve is Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, but such books are not common. Indeed, contemporary novels that exceed more than a few hundred pages (let alone stretch into the thousands) are rare. But, just as Proust did a century ago, today the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard has written a long, extravagant and ponderous roman-fleuve that expresses, more intensely and honestly than I would have thought possible, all the confusions and pleasures of being alive.

The first book in the My Struggle series, A Death in the Family, was published in 2012, and anyone who enjoyed it as much as I did has been aching to read the second volume, A Man in Love. The two books are unmistakably part of a larger work, but each covers conspicuously different emotional territory. Where A Death in the Family was concerned with the passing of the narrator’s father, A Man in Love describes how Knausgaard met his wife and the births of their three children, and is defined by lightness and the promise of fulfilment.

Knausgaard writes with an irresistible emotional heaviness. Where other authors might turn to irony as a form of self-defence, he exposes himself ever more relentlessly. He writes about his children and his family with a shocking rawness. Whereas Proust’s sentences are eminently quotable for their style, Knausgaard’s are almost without style. The My Struggle series stands apart from almost anything I’ve ever read. Knausgaard has no limits.


Will Heyward is a bookseller who works for Readings in Carlton and St Kilda. He is a contributing editor of Higher Arc.

This item is in-stock and will ship in 1-2 business days

Our stock data is updated overnight, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.

A Death in the Family: My Struggle Book 1

A Death in the Family: My Struggle Book 1

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett

When the author becomes a father himself, he must balance the demands of caring for a young family with his determination to write great literature. This title tells his story.

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewA Man In Love: My Struggle Book 2

A Man In Love: My Struggle Book 2

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett

Deals with the experience of becoming a father, the mundane struggles of family life, ridiculously unsuccessful holidays, humiliating antenatal music classes, fights with quarrelsome neighbours, and the emotional strains of...

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewBoyhood Island: My Struggle Book 3

Boyhood Island: My Struggle Book 3

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett

Childhood is exhilarating and terrifying. For the young Karl Ove, new houses, classes and friends are met with manic excitement and creeping dread. Adults occupy godlike positions of power, benevolent in the case of his doting...

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewDancing in the Dark: My Struggle Book 4

Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle Book 4

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett

Fresh out of high school, Karl Ove moves to a remote fishing village to work as a teacher. He has no interest in the job itself - or in any other job for that matter, his sole aim is to save money and start writing. All goes well...

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

Some Rain Must Fall: My Struggle Book 5

Some Rain Must Fall: My Struggle Book 5

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett

As the youngest student to be admitted to Bergen's prestigious Writing Academy, Karl Ove arrives full of excitement and writerly aspirations. Soon though, he is stripped of his youthful illusions. His writing is revealed to be...

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

The End: My Struggle Book 6

The End: My Struggle Book 6

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett, Martin Aitken

The sprawling, intimate, and spectacularly unorthodox literary autobiography that unleashed a media frenzy upon its release in Norway, became a global publishing sensation, and sold millions of copies worldwide, now reaches its...

$32.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...