A young mother speaks to her second born child. Since the drama of childbirth, all feels calm. The world is new and full of surprises, even though dangers lurk behind every corner; a car out of control, disease ever-present in the air, the unforgiving speed of time.
She tells of the times before the child was born, when the world felt unsure and enveloped in darkness, of long nights with an older lover, of her writing career and the precariousness of beginning a relationship and then a family with her husband, Bo.
A portrait of modern motherhood, The Child is a love story about what it means to be alive and stay alive, no matter how hard the journey.
Translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken
About the Author:
Kjersti A. Skomsvold made a sensational debut with The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am, published by Dalkey Press in English. The book won the Vesaas First Book Award, was shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize and has been sold to publishers in more than 25 countries. She is the author of four acclaimed novels, a book of poetry and a children’s book.
About the Translator:
Martin Aitken is a translator of Scandinavian literature, whose translations include work by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Olga Ravn, and Hanne Ørstavik. He was shortlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award in 2017, was a finalist at the US National Book Awards in 2018, and received the PEN America Translation Prize in 2019.
Praise for The Child
“The Child pays close, intelligent attention to motherhood and art. It's written with memorable precision and love, and I was sorry to finish it.”
—Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater
“I loved this book, as raw and shimmering as the early nights of motherhood; through its poetic fragments and deep thought the wonder, fear and joy of intimacy shine.”
—Liz Berry, author of The Republic of Motherhood
“Kjersti A Skomsvold’s The Child delivers a concise, compelling account of the journey from singledom to family life. . . . The vignette style of The Child, which is narrated to the central character’s new baby girl, recalls the writing of authors such as Maggie Nelson, Sheila Heti, and Jenny Offill, all of whom write brilliantly on the subject of modern motherhood, its delights and demands. While Skomsvold explores what Jenny Offill terms the “art monster”—where a child takes up the time and energy that might otherwise be spent creatively—she is more interested in highlighting the joy of parenting and the small, everyday pleasures that can be found in family life.”