The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I AmSkomsvold, Kjersti Annesdatter: Jo fortere jeg går, jo mindre er jeg
Mathea Martinsen has never been good at dealing with other people. But one thing she has learned. They are not like her. Now, as an old woman, she suddenly experiences a great grief, and she is struck by the fear that she will die before anyone will know that she has lived. Mathea digs out her old wedding dress again, bakes some sweet cakes and goes out among the others.
Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold’s first novel stands out for its humorous earnestness and unusually inventive prose.
Click here for an English sample translation.
Praise for THE FASTER I WALK, THE SMALLER I AM:
“A wonderful literary debut!”
”An astounding literary debut (...) nothing less than scorching poetry.”
”Original and moving. Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold portrays with absurd insight the horrible and fascinating aspects of nearing death (…) Skomsvold has created a character adorably absurd both in her language, thoughts and actions”
“A gloomy feel good novel about the irreparable loneliness of being human. A tragicomedy of rare quality.”
"Skomsvold impresses with a first novel which is terrible and funny at the same time. It takes a lot to create a literary feast out of social anxiety, and it’s all the more impressive when it’s done by a debutant. And it’s particularly impressive to have such a firm grasp of literary structure that the reader is entertained and surprised throughout the book … Skomsvold catches the reader off guard with creative twists until the very last page, and she proves herself as a sparkling cornucopia of imaginative prose and human warmth. Merciless and funny at the same time.”
“A fascinating little novel that pulls your heart strings in a lovely, non-sentimental way.”
“persuasive (…) Skomsvold writes well, masters her universe and manages to conjure up a strange but nevertheless believable character (…) [This novel] is something out of the ordinary”
"The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am is a well-composed little pearl of a first novel."
“This Norwegian debut masters both the comical and the morbid. A surprising and charming novel about a peculiar woman’s peculiar life. (…) I can recommend the book to anyone who wants a charming and surprising read.”
“The enthusiasm [for this book] is understandable. It is certainly a commendable and independent little debut. (…) It is, as you can see, a little sad, but more importantly, thought-provoking and funny in a warm and nice way. Even if our conscience is pricked at along the way, Skomsvold isn’t out on an errand of social criticism. (…)Skomsvold allows Mathea to tell her own story, and in that regard gives a voice to one of everyday life’s quiet and invisible existences.”
“highly well written and artful … This is a novel that contains so much depth that the reader probably need to read it two or three times to get full understanding of the symbolic and philosophic-mathematic layers in the writing.”
(Magasinet KBH, Danmark)
“a moving tale of humanity and compassion”
(Tidningen Kulturen, Sverige)
"This is a debut of alarming confidence, yet [Skomsvold] never allows the intelligence to settle into the merely clever. She is also sufficiently confident to avoid the obvious. Her use of ambiguity is assured, at times inspired. It is very funny, desperately sad and very true … Skomsvold’s delicate little book has a spine of steel … This is a profound work, truthful, unsettling and oddly euphoric. Mathea, part Everywoman and Everyman, is wholly heroic. Her story, as well as Skomsvold’s offbeat, open-eyed vision, rings true, too true."
(Irish Times, Ireland)
"terse, remarkable ... blends the unconventional with the human"
(The Harvard Crimson, USA)
"Ambiguously, artfully affectless … a delicately done, but firmly made, ambiguity, and a notable work of fiction"
(The Winnipeg Review, USA)
“A love story that couldn’t be more beautiful … Skomsvold describes Mathea’s feelings and her world view in such a heartwarming way that she always appears as something more than the sad, old lady you would expect, considering the circumstances. The look we get into her thoughts show her from such a unique perspective that you want to continue seeing the world through her eyes.”
(Der Spiegel Online, Germany)
Kjersti A. Skomsvold has conjured up a wise and sophisticated, unique and moving little book. There is more substance on the few pages here than in many an epic and voluminous book. Her name is one to take note of.”
(Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)
“A shining first novel … a novel that unites a tightly composed, irreproachably written story with a merciless analysis of the most vulnerable state a human being can be in”
5/6 (Time Out Lisboa, Portugal)
First published: 2009, Forlaget Oktober
Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold: Biography and bibliography
Rights sold to
|American English||Dalkey Archive Press|
|Chinese (complex)||Yuan-Liou Publishing|
|Chinese (simplified)||Zhengqing Culture&Art|
|French||Editions du Seuil|
|German||Hoffmann & Campe|
|Spanish||Lengua de Trapo|