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  • MacLehose Press
  • Maclehose Press

Child Wonder

Roy Jacobsen

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation

A glorious evocation of childhood in the early sixties.

Finn lives with his mother in an apartment block in a working-class suburb of Oslo. It is 1961, a time when 'men became boys and housewives women', the year the Berlin Wall is erected and Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to travel into space. Life is electrical, beautiful and stubbornly social-democratic. One day a mysterious half-sister appears 'with an atom-charge in a light blue suitcase', and she turns his life upside-down. Over an everlasting summer, Finn attempts to grasp the incomprehensible adult world and his place within it. His mother appears to carry a painful secret, but one which pushes them ever further apart. And why is his new sister so different from every other child?

Child Wonder is a powerful and unsentimental portrait of childhood, a coming-of-age novel full of light and warmth. Through the eyes of a child Roy Jacobsen has captured the complexities of his characters through their actions, and has produced an immensely uplifting novel that shines with humanity.

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Roy Jacobsen

Roy Jacobsen has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council's Literary Award: for Seierherrene in 1991, and Frost in 2003, and in 2009 he was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac Award for his novel The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles. The Unseen, the first in a trilogy, was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2017

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