New novel from Linn Ullmann

 Type:Culture, Literature

Norwegian author Linn Ullmann's award-winning novel 'Grace' goes on sale in British book stores from 20 January and has already received great reviews in the UK press.

The novel tells the story of Johan Sletten whose life has not been the greatest success story: an unhappy first marriage, an estranged son, and an undistinguished career as a journalist. But his second wife, Mai has graced his life with love. When told that he is terminally ill, with possibly only a few months left to him, Johan makes Mai promise to help him die “when the time comes”. But is this the true measure of love – to give the gift of death? And who decides when the time is right? Johan himself or his wife Mai? Death may come as a release, but to whom? Through the warp of Johan and Mai’s story, with characteristic subtlety, Linn Ullmann threads a weft of memories, dreams and tales that serve to illustrate the various aspects of Johan Sletten’s character; his life and death.

Linn Ullmann’s haunting novel portrays a passionate love affair and asks difficult questions about life, love and death. Finally, in prose of cool precision, deep insight and dark wit, it illustrated how the most ordinary of lives can, in the end, be unexpectedly touched by grace.

Grace was published in Norway in 2002 and won the prominent literary award “The Reader’s Prize.” In the January 18th edition of Time Out London, the novel was awarded five out of six possible stars. Reviewer Natalie Moore wrote: 'Linn Ullmann's elegant and concise novel is a study of life and its exquisite banality... Grace is, in a sense, about what happens in between, the major and minor events that occur over the course of any given day. Ullmann's triumph is that even when dealing with the weightiest of these, she has the lightest of touches.'

Linn Ullmann is the daughter of Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann and Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied English Literature. She returned to her native Oslo in 1990, where she now lives with her husband and children and works as a journalist and literary critic. She had established herself as an important literary critic when her first and critically acclaimed novel 'Before You Sleep' was published in 1998.

Her second novel, 'Stella Descending' (2001) received great reviews. Her third novel 'Grace' was published in 2002. During the autumn 2005 Ullmann published her fourth novel 'A Blessed Child', and this novel was shortlisted for the Brage Price, Norway's most prestigious literary award.

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Linn Ullmann's novel 'Grace' is published on 20 January