Winter | Penguin Random House Canada


Publisher: Knopf Canada
Winter, written to introduce his youngest daughter to the wonders of life, is one of the most profoundly moving and beautiful of Karl Ove Knausgaard's beloved works. While it stands alone for readers, it is also the exquisitely interwoven, second volume of the Seasons quartet--his new landmark literary project: written by a father to his unborn child.

It is strange that you exist, but that you don't know anything about what the world looks like. It's strange that there is a first time to see the sky, a first time to see the sun, a first time to feel the air against one's skin. It's strange that there is a first time to see a face, a tree, a lamp, pajamas, a shoe. In my life that almost never happens anymore. But soon it will. In just a few months, I will see you for the first time.

Winter is the continuation of Karl Ove Knausgaard's personal encyclopedia and record of the world that will soon make up the close reality of his yet unborn child. Comprising sixty short, surprising, and incredibly rich meditations on everything from the moon to fireworks to aquatic apes, Winter finds Karl Ove waxing philosophically and meaningfully on the big things that hide behind smaller things: the sublimity of bonfires, the strange mechanics of the inner ear, the evolution of our solar system, and the fearsome beauty of the Norse myths.

Featuring gorgeous illustrations by award-winning watercolour artist Lars Lerin, with Winter, the Seasons quartet reaches new heights of meditative grandeur--an important and memorable gift for readers from one of the world's most important and beguiling literary artists.


“The few winter-specific entries offer some lovely evocations of the snowbound Scandinavian landscape that will resonate with Knausgaard’s latitudinal neighbours. Even when discussing other subjects, though, the essays as a whole reflect the season’s mood of quiet introversion. . . . Autumn and Winter don’t quite present things ‘anew,’ but they give their subjects a uniquely Knausgaardian cast; the fun is in seeing where we end up, Plinko-style, from where we began.” —Emily Donaldson, Toronto Star

“Knausgaard made his name with My Struggle, a multi-part memoir-novel cut so close to the bone that his family shunned him. More gentle, Winter is the second in a seasonal quartet explaining the world to his fourth child while she’s still in the womb. A series of mini-essays riffing on whatever comes to mind—from atoms to the 1970s and the joy of dressing up as Father Christmas—it sounds mad, and often is, but it’s also sweet, funny and brimful of wide-eyed seasonal wonder.” —Metro (UK)

“The bleakest season’s beauty laid bare. . . . Knausgaard digs into the wonders of winter, unearthing more extraordinary revelations in the everyday. . . . Whatever the topic, whether concrete or abstract, ordinary or extraordinary, Knausgaard proves to be an expert examiner. With satisfying regularity he comes in at oblique angles and finds unexpected facts and original insight.” —The National (United Arab Emirates)

Praise for Autumn:

“Knausgaard’s observations are a balm during these troubled times. . . . Knausgaard has the Scandinavian talent for celebrating the plainness of things, the importance of the minor objects with which one shares solitary confinement.” —Heather Mallick, Toronto Star 

“[Knausgaard’s] observations themselves are sharp and compelling, rooted in concrete detail, with a matter-of-factness that often veers toward the objective or scientific. . . . The short pieces in Autumn . . . are marvels of concision, opening out into epiphanies with an effortless grace, but rooted in the physical world: the colours of spilled petrol, the shifting tones of grass and trees as autumn slips toward winter, the faces of loved ones. There is never any sense of sameness, and each section has its own quiet power that merits a slow approach to the book as a whole. . . . Autumn is a beautiful, thought-provoking book, often uncomfortable and shocking, but as frequently profound, the sort of book one can imagine revisiting often, finding something new, something significant, in every reading.” —Robert J. Wiersema, author of Before I Wake and Bedtime Story, National Post