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Agnes Lidbeck

At a Loss

Anders is married to Kristina, and father to Anna. Along with his mother, Gunnel, they are all the family he has, and he loves them immensely. Sometimes almost too much, the very thought of them being harmed makes his body tighten and his teeth grind, still he can’t help from imagining the worst-case scenario. To lose them would be the worst thing of all – yet still alluring. If you are alone, you cannot be deserted.

Anders, like his mother, is a psychologist, and he runs his practice in his mother’s offices/apartment. Unlike his mother, he carries no grand ambitions. Someday, he will try to find another office to work from. (Someday, his mother’s apartment will be his instead.) He bakes sour-dough bread, goes for runs, drives his daughter from the stable, pleases his wife in bed, shops for groceries and knows exactly how much fruit is needed. There shall be no room for misunderstandings or displease in their family. Still, something is chafing.

Over the course of twenty years, we accompany Anders as a husband, father and son. A marriage that evolves, a daughter that grows up, a mother that becomes an old woman. In the middle of it all is a man who is watching the events taking place, sometimes crippled by fear, sometimes desperately trying to stop time.

In her new novel Agnes Lidbeck investigates the small truths and the big lies in our lives, the difference between our aspirations and our potentials, the explosive nature of our emotional reactions and our rational explanations for why we couldn’t achieve more.

At a Loss is the final, free-standing, part of Lidbeck’s “Playing House” triptych, following Supporting Act and The Rift.

Agnes

About the author

Lidbeck

Agnes Lidbeck made her sensational breakthrough with the literary triptych Supporting Act (2017), The Rift (2018) and At a Loss (2019), and the bestselling poetry collection From (2018, Ellerströms), securing her a position as one of the most prominent voices in contemporary Swedish literature. All My Love is her fifth novel.

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Norway: Cappelen Damm

Anders is married to Kristina, and father to Anna. Along with his mother, Gunnel, they are all the family he has, and he loves them immensely. Sometimes almost too much, the very thought of them being harmed makes his body tighten and his teeth grind, still he can’t help from imagining the worst-case scenario. To lose them would be the worst thing of all – yet still alluring. If you are alone, you cannot be deserted.

Anders, like his mother, is a psychologist, and he runs his practice in his mother’s offices/apartment. Unlike his mother, he carries no grand ambitions. Someday, he will try to find another office to work from. (Someday, his mother’s apartment will be his instead.) He bakes sour-dough bread, goes for runs, drives his daughter from the stable, pleases his wife in bed, shops for groceries and knows exactly how much fruit is needed. There shall be no room for misunderstandings or displease in their family. Still, something is chafing.

Over the course of twenty years, we accompany Anders as a husband, father and son. A marriage that evolves, a daughter that grows up, a mother that becomes an old woman. In the middle of it all is a man who is watching the events taking place, sometimes crippled by fear, sometimes desperately trying to stop time.

In her new novel Agnes Lidbeck investigates the small truths and the big lies in our lives, the difference between our aspirations and our potentials, the explosive nature of our emotional reactions and our rational explanations for why we couldn’t achieve more.

At a Loss is the final, free-standing, part of Lidbeck’s “Playing House” triptych, following Supporting Act and The Rift.

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