Collected Works By Lydia Sandgren

ISBN: 9781662601521


Published by (2023-01-31)

A compelling mystery, a poignant bildungsroman, and a work of great nostalgia for times just past, COLLECTED WORKS is a novel about love, power and art—and what leads us to make the pivotal decisions that change the course of our lives.

Martin Berg's wife, Cecilia, disappeared years ago. His memories of their carefree college days seem ever out-of-reach, and the intellectual curiosities that once made him the object of her desire have given way to mid-life uncertainty. The methodical and quiet life he’s made for himself and his adult children couldn’t be further from the one he dreamed of in his youth, when the manuscripts lying around his apartment were flush with promise and the ailing publishing house he runs was still new. Perhaps nothing reminds Martin of these failures more than his friend Gustav Becker, a wildly successful painter who’s returned to Gothenburg on the eve of his career-defining retrospective.

Gustav, meanwhile, is hurting too. His obsession with Cecilia’s inexplicable disappearance had made his art hagiographic, fixated on her image. When posters for Gustav’s retrospective plaster Cecilia’s face on major billboards across the city, Martin’s daughter Rakel learns a haunting fact that points toward her mother’s whereabouts. She and her brother chase this clue across time, memory, and Europe, to discover why their beloved mother abandoned her family, with the imagined hope that the question of what makes a person can ever be answered.

COLLECTED WORKS, a major hit in Sweden, sold over 100,000 copies in its first year in print, instantly making Lydia Sandgren a literary sensation. Winner of the 2020 August Prize for Fiction, the novel is set to publish in 17 territories.

Book Details

Format: eBook
Price: 22.99 CAD / 16.99 USD
Published: 2023-01-31
ISBN: 9781662601521
Page Count: 608
Trim Size: 6 x 9

"[Collected Works] has flavours of the realism of her countryman, Karl Ove Knausgard, more than a hint of emotional American big hitters like Jeffrey Eugenides or Jonathan Franzen, and something of the twists and turns of a chronicle like War and Peace."
—India Lewis, The Arts Desk (UK)

"Collected Works has been put together with the care of a medieval scribe and the patient skill of a master carver. It is without doubt one of the most meticulously built works of fiction I’ve read in a long time."
Charlie Connelly, The New European (UK)

"This is the 600-page Swedish debut novel I will be pressing into everyone’s hands this spring. Don’t be alarmed! The pages frankly fly by—in fact, I wish there were more"

"The mystery at the heart of the story adds urgency to this warm, engaging, and funny novel about the inebriation of youth and the sobriety of middle age; about lives shaped by art and ideas; about our human flaws and joys. Collected Works is a thoroughly enjoyable book."
—Aysegül Savas, author of Walking on the Ceiling

"Sandgren hooks the reader with an absorbing, multilayered plot that shifts between past and present, building slowly towards the emotional and narrative mystery at its heart."
—Anne Foley, Booklist

"[An] absorbing story . . . [Collected Works] is a witty, toothy, family saga, unashamedly intellectual but rarely bogged down by the weight of its theories . . . It's refreshing to read such a confidently ambitious work that holds art, literature, and philosophy close to its heart . . . Collected Works is an assured, bittersweet novel that, like youth, seems to have it all—energy, aspiration, and self-delusion."
—Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

"Lydia Sandgren's Collected Works is the most convincing work of literary fiction I've read in years: one part family saga, one part buddy comedy, one part mystery, one part bildungsroman, and one part philosophical inquiry into the nature of art, the whole filled with unforgettable characters, wry humor, and knock-down gorgeous sentences, positively vibrating with intelligence and style. People often write, with varying degrees of accuracy, that new books feel destined to become classics, but Collected Works feels like it already is one—and you, lucky reader, have stumbled upon it."
—Emily Temple, author of The Lightness