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I Curse the River of Time

A Novel
Per Petterson, Translated by Charlotte Barslund
1989: Communism is crumbling, and Arvid Jansen, 37, is facing his first divorce. At the same time, his mother gets diagnosed with cancer. Over a few intense autumn days, we follow Arvid as he struggles to find a new footing in his life, while all the established patterns around him are changing at staggering speed. I Curse the River of Time is an honest, heartbreaking yet humorous portrayal of a complicated mother-son relationship told in Petterson's precise and beautiful prose.

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An enthralling novel of a mother and son's turbulent relationship from the author of Out Stealing Horses

About the Author

Per  Petterson
Credit: Baard Henriksen

Per Petterson is the author of seven novels, including I Refuse and Out Stealing Horses, which has been translated into fifty languages. Petterson has received the Nordic Council Literature Prize, the Norwegian Critics Prize, and the Brage Prize. He lives in Norway.

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  • “Clear, colloquial and unadorned. . . . At moments when a lot of American prose seems fizzy and over-rich, the sentences in I Curse the River of Time go down like an eye-watering shot of aquavit.”—Charles McGrath, The New York Times
  • “Like Raymond Carver at his intricate best. . . . Readers will find that they’re in the hands of a master whose quiet, unforgettable voice leaves you yearning to hear more.”—The Boston Globe
  • “[Per Petterson] provides one of literature’s greatest gifts in his novels—an absorbing interiority that creates a welcome refuge from our cacophonous world.”—NPR
  • “Petterson doesn’t dole out comforts, simply the quiet advice that since we can't choose how we die, we’d better be careful how we choose to live.”—Entertainment Weekly

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