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In a series of personal letters, Dear Knausgaard sets forth a searing feminist critique of My Struggle, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. What starts out as an engaging response to a work of literature that has become genre-defining, later morphs into a compelling and necessary interrogation of the social and cultural forces behind Knausgaard’s work. Throughout, Adrian provides us with fertile ground for a celebration of the act of reading itself.
‘Kim Adrian’s loving struggle with Knausgaard is the kind of criticism I most enjoy - personal, wonderfully engaged, intense but somehow simultaneously light-footed, and extremely intelligent. The brilliance of her feminist critique is that it acutely exposes vulnerabilities in Knausgaard’s male universalism while affectionately acknowledging the scope and appeal of his inevitably gendered voice. A delight from start to finish.’ James Wood, literary critic
‘On display is a rigorous mind, a fiery intellect, a curious and engaged reader. Adrian brings lofty ideas - questions of attention and meaning, of the troubling permeability between inside and outside, of reality itself - down to the meat-and-feeling human level.’ Boston Globe
Kim Adrian is the author of the memoir The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet. Her first book, Sock, is part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series.
Her writing has been supported by the Edward Albee Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writing Seminars, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, PEN/New England, The Ragdale Foundation, and others.
Dear Knausgaard by Kim Adrian