THE WANDERING PINE
Per Olov Enquist
Translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner
What was it about Hjoggböle, a farming village in the northernmost part of Sweden, that created so many idiots - and writers? There was nothing to indicate that P.O. Enquist would be stricken by an addiction to writing. Nothing in his family - honest, hardworking people. Not a trace of poetry. And yet he worked his way, via journalism, novels and plays, to the centre of Swedish politics and cultural life. His books garnered prize after prize. His plays ran for decades and premiered on Broadway.
Why then, living with a new wife in Paris, does he hole up in their palatial Champes-Élysées apartment, talking only to his cat? How is it that he wakes to find himself in an uncoupled carriage on a railway siding in Hamburg, two - or was it three? - days after the first-night party finished? And what is it that drives him to run shoeless through the deep January snow of an Icelandic plain, leaving the lights of the drying out clinic far behind?
Narrating in the third person, as if he were merely a character in the eventful, perplexing and ultimately triumphantly redemptive drama of his own life, P.O. Enquist is as elliptical as Karl Ove Knausgaard is exhaustive. Clear-eyed, rueful, written with elegance and humour, this is the singular story of a remarkable man.
Paperback - B-format - £9.99 - 08/12/2016 - 9781780870199
"Some life. Some novel . . . Wonderful, brave, evocative . . . It is a remarkable story, and Enquist is remarkably frank in narrating every last detail" RUSSELL LEADBETTER, Herald
"The Wandering Pine, rather like Arthur Miller's Timebends, is a fascinating portrait of intellectual life during the twentieth century" KATE WEBB, Times Literary Supplement
"Fascinating . . . Works best when it feels most like a novel - most obviously in its oblique beginning and end" JAMES KIDD, Independent
"A riveting, objective autobiography" PEGGY WOODFORD, Church Times