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The Wolves of Eternity

By Karl Ove Knausgaard and Martin Aitken
The Wolves of Eternity by Karl Ove Knausgaard and Martin Aitken digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

An NPR Best Book of 2023

“Knausgaard is back, with a compulsively readable new novel.” —The Washington Post

The Wolves of Eternity, like some 19th-century Russian novel, wrestles with the great contraries: the materialist view and the religious, the world as cosmic accident versus embodiment of some radiant intention. Is this world shot through with meaning or not? Has there ever been a better time to ask?” —Sven Birkerts, The New York Times Book Review

From the internationally bestselling author Karl Ove Knausgaard, a sprawling and deeply human novel that questions the responsibilities we have toward one another and ourselves—and the limits of what we can understand about life itself


In 1986, twenty-year-old Syvert Løyning returns from the military to his mother’s home in southern Norway. One evening, his dead father comes to him in a dream. Realizing that he doesn’t really know who his father was, Syvert begins to investigate his life and finds clues pointing to the Soviet Union. What he learns changes his past and undermines the entire notion of who he is. But when his mother becomes ill, and he must care for his little brother, Joar, on his own, he no longer has time or space for lofty speculations.

In present-day Russia, Alevtina Kotov, a biologist working at Moscow University, is traveling with her young son to the home of her stepfather, to celebrate his eightieth birthday. As a student, Alevtina was bright, curious and ambitious, asking the big questions about life and human consciousness. But as she approaches middle-age, most of that drive has gone, and she finds herself in a place she doesn’t want to be, without really understanding how she got there. Her stepfather, a musician, raised her as his own daughter, and she was never interested in learning about her biological father; when she finally starts looking into him, she learns that he died many years ago and left two sons, Joar and Syvert.

Years later, when Syvert and Alevtina meet in Moscow, two very different approaches to life emerge. And as a bright star appears in the sky, it illuminates the wonder of human existence and the mysteries that exist beyond our own worldview. Set against the political and cultural backdrop of both the 1980s and the present day, The Wolves of Eternity is an expansive and affecting book about relations—to one another, to nature, to the dead.

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About Karl Ove Knausgaard

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s first novel, Out of the World, was the first ever debut novel to win the Norwegian Critics’ Prize and his second, A Time for Everything, was widely acclaimed. The My Struggle cycle of novels has been heralded as a masterpiece wherever it has appeared.

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