Published in 1999, ‘The Discoverer’ (Norwegian: Oppdageren) is a novel by Norwegian author Jan Kjærstad that won the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize’ in 2001. A theology graduate, Kjærstad was born in Oslo and made his literary debut in 1980 with the collection of short stories ‘The Earth Turns Quietly’. Jan Kjærstad is a philosophically-oriented epic writer, who scrutinises modern man and his relational problems: he has written nine novels, other than also being active as a critic, and has received various prizes, including the ‘Dobloug Prize’ from the Swedish Academy. ‘The Discoverer’ completes the trilogy about the TV personality Jonas Wergeland: the first two books are ‘The Seducer’ and ‘The Conqueror’, and they all describe a TV producer and his everyday life, framed by pronounced professional successes. His life takes a dramatic turn when he returns from a trip abroad and finds his wife dead, bathed in blood: having served a seven-year sentence for murder, he returns to a quieter life than before. He is invited on a boat trip along the coast of Norway to complete a research project together with a group of young people: one of these youngsters wants to research Jonas Wergeland inorder to understand if and why he committed the murder. According to the Adjudicating Committee, in the novel we follow Jonas Wergelund on a voyage of discovery through Norway, which is also a journey into our recent past. Kjærstad’s style is profoundly original and innovative, and the text gives the reader great challenges and rich reading pleasure.
Books, Culture, Literature, Norway