Literary Nonfiction. In a series of warm and often funny letters, essayist and memoirist Kim Adrian delivers a compelling feminist critique of the 6-volume autobiographical novel My Struggle, by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard. Adrian's book of letters begins as a witty and entertaining response to a seminal work and transforms into a fierce and powerful interrogation of the darker social and cultural forces informing Knausgaard's project. Through an examination of the curious operations of intimacy demanded on both sides of the page by all great literature, DEAR KNAUSGAARD ultimately provides a heartfelt celebration of the act of reading itself.
"Kim Adrian's DEAR KNAUSGAARD isn't just for everyone who reveled in or fought with My Struggle, it's for everyone who reads--period, everyone who struggles with the profoundly complicated act of engaging with another mind. It is both a love letter to Knausgaard and a feminist critique of his work, a celebration and deconstruction of the act of close reading, and a meta-commentary on the relationship between writer and reader. Smart, funny, intimate, and erudite, this marvelous book is a powerful argument for the potential of reading to change us, to alter the trajectory of our lives."--Peter Grandbois
"DEAR KNAUSGAARD brings together two notions of what it means to be good, two kinds of writerly indulgence, two versions of the casualness and self-attentiveness of our era. In these imaginary letters, Kim Adrian faces down her hero and unwitting oppressor, a man whose novels have helped her see the world anew, but whose blind spots give pain and spark anger. Adrian's crushing honesty, her unusual forbearance: these make the book a moving and intimate one. Her long attachment to My Struggle makes the critique an essential read."--William Pierce
"Intriguing... ruthlessly interrogates the work and the literary world at large, especially the misogyny that she finds in both places... Adrian's dynamic work of both literary and self-analysis will appeal to those passionate readers who have vacillated between adoring certain authors and wanting to throw their books across the room."--Publishers Weekly
"If you're seeking a heady, thoughtful response to a heady, thoughtful multi-volume work--well, we have a recommendation for you."--Vol. 1 Brooklyn
Kim Adrian is the author of the memoir The Twenty- Seventh Letter of the Alphabet. Her first book, Sock, is part of Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series. She edited The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms, an anthology praised by The Millions for "offering a sense of hope about literature and its capacity for change."