My Men By Victoria Kielland

My Men

A Novel

Categories: , ,
ISBN: 9781662601934

Format:

Published by (2023-06-27)

A New York Times Best Crime Novel of 2023

A Wall Street Journal Best Mystery Book of 2023

A CrimeReads Best Historical Fiction and International Crime Novel of 2023

A Best Book of 2023 - Chicago Review of Books and Marie Claire

"An eerily lyrical tour de force . . . [A] horrific, sustained portrait of a traumatized human soul." —Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"Kielland plumbs Belle’s inner life through jaggedly rhythmic prose, where what should be obvious is sometimes opaque and what’s often shrouded — female rage — takes center stage."
—Sarah Weinman, The New York Times


"This fascinating, off-kilter novel about a female serial killer is an unexpectedly thrilling read.”
—Karl Ove Knausgård, author of My Struggle and The Morning Star

Based on the true story of Norwegian maid turned Midwestern farmwife Belle Gunness, the first female serial killer in American history. My Men is a fictional account of one broken woman's descent into inescapable madness.


Among thousands of other Norwegian immigrants seeking freedom, Brynhild Størset emigrated to the American Upper Midwest in the late nineteenth century, changing her name and her life. As Bella, later Belle Gunness, she came in search of not only fortune and true faith but, most of all, love.

From Victoria Kielland, a rising star of Norwegian literature, comes My Men, a literary reimagining of the harrowing true story of Belle Gunness, who slowly but irreversibly turned to senseless murder for release from her pain, becoming America’s first known female serial killer. In pursuit of her American Dream, Kielland’s Belle grows increasingly alienated, ruthless, and perversely compelling.

Raw, visceral, and altogether hypnotic, My Men is a brutal yet radically empathetic glimpse into the world of a woman consumed by desire.

Book Details

Format: eBook
Price: 19.99 CAD / 14.99 USD
Published: 2023-06-27
ISBN: 9781662601934
Imprint:
Page Count: 208
Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

"Kielland plumbs Belle’s inner life through jaggedly rhythmic prose, where what should be obvious is sometimes opaque and what’s often shrouded — female rage — takes center stage."
Sarah Weinman, The Best Crime Books of 2023, The New York Times

"My Men is a stylistic tour de force . . . It reads like an expressionist prose-poem penned by a stark-minded zealot . . . Kielland is clearly a gifted writer, and My Men is an impressively realized creation."
Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"My Men, superbly translated by Damion Searls, is a portrait of a woman trying, and failing, to escape her punishing trajectory. Bit by bit, day by day, we see, and come to understand, what has made Belle Gunness a killer."
Sarah Weinman, The New York Times Book Review

"The torrent of stunning prose in this novel is almost as violent as the protagonist, Belle, herself."
Alana B. Lytle, CrimeReads

"A short, sharp shock of a book . . . [My Men is] a singular novel of unusual power from a fearless and remarkable writer."
Carys Davies, The Guardian

"My Men paints an extraordinary portrait of the inner turmoil and ecstasy of the woman widely regarded to be America’s first female serial killer, Belle Gunness."
Catherine Jarvie, Marie Claire (UK)

"Entirely chilling."
Sara Batkie, Chicago Review of Books

"Victoria Kielland’s My Men doesn’t take a sensationalistic approach; instead, this novel provides an impressionistic version of Gunness’s story, illustrating her struggle for control over her own life and the increasingly lethal forms that control ends up taking."
Tobias Carroll, Words Without Borders

"[My Men] is the rare quiet literary thriller that haunts with its lyricism and exquisitely wrought characters."
David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy

"Each line of the novel, carefully translated by Searls, conjures a beauty that begs to be read aloud. I found myself repeating lines under my breath in the shower; that’s how much this book slipped under my skin."
Ian J. Battaglia, Chicago Review of Books

"This novel turns the tropes of true crime on its head."
Michael Barron, The Rumpus

"This fascinating, off-kilter novel about a female serial killer is an unexpectedly thrilling read.”
Karl Ove Knausgård, author of My Struggle and The Morning Star

"Kielland’s dense, lyrical novel offers both insight and opacity . . .  Despite the subject matter, this novel is not your typical thriller. The language, in Searls’ translation, is dense, poetic, and deeply figurative." 
Kirkus Reviews

"[A] provocative English-language debut . . . [Belle Gunness's] spiritual yearning and profane desires are captured in dynamic and subversive prose . . . It’s an impressive feat of historical imagination."
Publishers Weekly

"Kielland’s pithy tale lingers long after the reader is finished. In addition to historical fiction readers, aficionados of both crime fiction and Scandinavian literature will welcome this award-winning voice to the table."
Karen Clements, Booklist

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