books > Encircling
448pp B Format Pbk with flaps
by carl frode tiller
Tiller’s continuing epic saga of Norwegian life
In this second Encircling book, set on the backwater island of Otterøya, Tiller continues the singular premise of his prizewinning trilogy. David, the enigmatic and absent central character, has lost his memory. At the behest of his psychiatrist, three friends send in letters about the childhood they shared. We hear from Ole, a hardworking, naive, farmer struggling on the brink of marital breakdown; from Tom Roger, a musclebound outsider fearful of spiraling into domestic violence; and from Paula, a midwife retired to an old people’s home, where she guards explosive secrets of her own and David’s past.
Using a carefully scored polyphony of voices, and unflinching domestic focus, Tiller shows how deeply identity is influenced by our friendships. The Encircling trilogy presents an epic saga of Norwegian life that is both starkly honest and unnervingly true.
Winner English PEN Award
Nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize
“Intense and psychologically acute. . . . Bombs dropped in the final pages ensure hot anticipation for the final installment.” BOOKLIST
“ A canny exploration of how much we reveal about ourselves when we talk about others.” KIRKUS REVIEW
“ [Tiller] cleverly widen[s] the scope of his project from a character study into an examination of artistic ethics.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“ The most succinct and honest thing I can say about this novel is that it simply blew me away. . . . This is a novel that speaks to the vast distinction between how we view ourselves and how we are perceived by others, to the impossibility of truly knowing another person, or even oneself. It is one of the most amazingly original, and utterly captivating books I’ve read in recent years; it is the best sort of novel, one that engrosses and entertains, but gives one pause to question just about everything we take for granted.” JEANNE JOESTEN, LITERATI BOOKS
“[Encircling 2] pelts across the landscape of memory, around obstacles of lies, secrets, and vanity. . . . An incomparable intellectual escapade. . . . [Tiller’s books] are shards, large slices of story and characterization, each a jagged stepping-stone leading to an inescapable conclusion: identity is not a monolith but a collage — an odd, overlapping, contradictory collage, impossible to reconcile.” LA REVIEW OF BOOKS