|According to Sofia
- Oystein Lonn
Sofia has run off to Spain with Leon, leaving
her husband Simen back home in Norway.
Simen is used to this kind of behaviour. But
then Leon goes to North Africa, where he plans
to commit suicide in the desert, and Simen
begs Sofia to return home.
In this finely observed psychological novel,
the characters are all running away – from
themselves, from the others, and from life
in general. According to Sofia deals with two
themes common to many great novels: a
fearful sense of existential isolation, and a
corresponding need to reach out and make
contact with others.
According to Sofia has been published in
France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Translated from Norwegian by Barbara J. Haveland
I am forsaken, Sofia smiled. He forsook me. This is the first time
that anyone has ever left me. It was quietly done. She thought for
a moment. No, silently, she concluded.
It’s lucky I can see the funny side of it. Here I am, sitting all
alone under the awning in a Basque café, drinking coffee that
tastes of chicory and deceit. Today I have the feeling that all is
It is October and chilly, and the other customers have
retreated indoors. They sit at tables inside the warm café,
wondering why I stay out here in the chill wind off the mountains.
Those much-vaunted mountains. I’m feeling sorry for myself and
it always shows and it’s always comical.
Here I am in the Basque city of Vitoria, stirring my coffee. I
know only one person here. I arrived yesterday. I arrived yesterday
on the local bus from San Sebastian. I ought to have been so upset
today that I wouldn’t remember the slightest thing about that bus
About the Author
OYSTEIN LØNN is a central figure in
contemporary Norwegian fiction, who has
won several major prizes. Since his debut
in 1966, he has published five collections
of short stories and nine novels.
Publication date for According to Sofia
: 26 March 2009
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