'Gripped me like an airport read . . . perfect.' Lena Dunham
'Lena Andersson's Wilful Disregard is a story of the heart written with bracing intellectual rigor. It is a stunner, pure and simple.' Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
Winner of the August Prize 2013
On the day that Ester Nilsson, a poet and a sensible person in a sensible relationship, meets renowned artist Hugo Rask, her rational world begins to unravel. Leaving her boyfriend and her past behind, Ester embarks on what is sure to be the greatest love story of her life.
It's a shame no one else agrees.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 148 g
Dimensions: 197 x 128 x 14 mm
I never thought a book about anxious Swedish intellectuals engaged in a philosophical back and forth would grip me like an airport read, but here we are. From the first page I was deep in the headspace of our protagonist, Esther, a woman willing to destroy her life for a man who barely acknowledges her. -- Lena Dunham
Lena Andersson's Wilful Disregard is a story of the heart written with bracing intellectual rigor. It is a stunner, pure and simple. -- Alice Sebold, author of THE LOVELY BONES
Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson describes a female writer's new friendship with and eventual fixation on an older and more successful male artist. Hugo and Ester have an intense intellectual connection, which makes her feel like she's in love with him and makes him feel, well, like they have an intense intellectual connection (though he's willing to dabble in sex with her). Like Rachel Cusk's Outline, Wilful Disregard is lacerating in its intelligence and honesty; it makes you waver between loathing and compassion for basically all humans. -- Curtis Sittenfeld, New Yorker Books of the Year
Love, famously, is blind. People in love can lose even the most basic critical faculties and become capable of monumental self-deception. Hardly a new story, but I don't think I've ever seen this particular myopia as astutely and entertainingly explored as in this stunning novel . . . bruise-tender in its detail and emotional candour.
This is a slim volume, but every word packs a punch; every other sentence is so wise and funny that it begs to be quoted. Andersson's gift for conjuring atmosphere and emotion out of small quotidian mishaps is extraordinary'
Andersson does a masterly job reeling in the reader * New York Times *
Brilliant and unflinching on obsession, on desperation, on the stuff of how people are capable of being to each other. Andersson writes smart, sharp-eyed, and often witheringly funny prose; nobody gets out of this situation with their pride, or their public persona, intact. Which is what makes it such addictive reading. -- Belinda McKeon, author of SOLACE and TENDER
Dry wit and sharp insight . . . If she sees an intellectual pretension, she pricks it * The Economist *
A compelling read, a deeply philosophical book that attempts to make sense of love in the modern world * Irish Examiner *
A cerebral cat's cradle of a novel * New Yorker *
A creepy lucid dissection of the tangled psychology of love. * M Magazine *
'Andersson's novel is refreshing for its willingness to look at sexual fixation with a woman's gaze. I read Wilful Disregard full of both agonised secondhand embarrassment and admiration for Andersson's crisp prose. Ester is maddening, lovable . . . and recognisable to anyone who's ever had a day ruined by an unanswered text message. * Guardian *
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