Inadvertent by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Staff Pick

If you’ve read even one volume of My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard, you’ve probably wondered what drives the Norwegian writer’s shameless and exhaustive exploration of personal experience. In his slender Inadvertent (Yale $18), part of Yale’s Why I Write series, Knausgaard provides some thought-provoking and unexpected insights. He starts by talking about his love of reading—from comic books to Ursula Le Guin, Paul Celan, Malarmé, and Tolstoy. He reads to enter something unknown, “so that even without moving I was moving away from myself,” and this is also the impulse that drives him to write.  But—“away” from himself?  While delving so deeply inside his experience? How is that possible? In Inadvertent Knausgaard explores his search for meaning, his need to understand an overbearing father, and his humiliation at writing badly, yet continuing to write anyway (he recounts destroying an early manuscript when a poet he admired told him it wasn’t any good). This engaging little book will undoubtedly appeal to avid readers of Knausgaard but it will also introduce newcomers to his work, and will especially fascinate writers who want to understand the craft of one of the most important authors of our time.

Inadvertent (Why I Write) By Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ingvild Burkey (Translated by) Cover Image
By Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ingvild Burkey (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780300221510
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - September 4th, 2018