The novel P.O. Enquist thought he would never be able to write. The true story of a love affair between a fifteen-year old boy and a 51-year-old woman
"The love that dare not speak its name . . ."
Sweden, 1949. A boy of 15, cutting across a garden, chances upon a woman of 51. What ensues is cataclysmic, life-altering. All the more because it cannot be spoken of. Can it never be spoken of?
Looking back in late old age at an encounter that transformed him suddenly yet utterly, P.O. Enquist, a titan of Swedish letters, has decided to "come out" - but in ways entirely novel and unexpected. He has written the book that smoldered unwritten within him his entire life. The book he had always seen as the one he could not write.
This poignant memoir of love as a religious experience - as a modern form of the Resurrection - is also a deeply felt reflection on the transitoriness of friendship, the fraught nature of family relationships, and the importance of giving voice to what cannot be forgotten. A parable as hauntingly intense as any Bergman film.
Translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner
To my surprise, I start bawling like a baby - The Metaphor Book is actually so beautiful that it makes you cry. - Sveriges Radio s Kulturnytt.
One of the most entertaining romans a clef I have ever read. - Kulturnyheterna.
It is very beautiful. - Dagens Nyheter.
A down-to-earth, fairytale-like love . . . It turns into some of Enquist's finest work, a letter from a living person to a dead one. - Svenska Dagbladet.
Per Olov Enquist was born in 1934 in a small village in Norrland, the northern part of Sweden. He is one of Sweden's leading contemporary writers, both as a novelist and a playwright. He has twice won the August Prize for fiction, the most prestigious Swedish literary prize, and was awarded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Visit of the Royal Physician.