Enthusiasm for Kjartan Fløgstad in France
Kjartan Fløgstad’s novel Grand Manila was recently published in France and the reviews were wonderful and enthusiastic. French critics are beside themselves with joy over Fløgstad’s smooth transitions between the local and the global, the individual and the international.
Kjartan Fløgstad is hailed as a great writer with an obvious belonging in French public space.
Grand Manila was published by Edition Stock, a company that celebrates three hundred years of proud literary tradition, and Kjartan Fløgstad was present at the launching of his novel in Paris. Grand Manila is translated by Céline Romand-Monnier.
This is what the critics wrote:
"Although he is an excellent essayist, he is first and foremost a great writer, as ambitious as he is talented – as proven by Grand Manila, a realistic and poetic polyphonic novel, like nothing else in contemporary literature."
Nils C. Ahl in Le Monde des Livres
"Kjartan Fløgstad has written an intelligent, pulsating, witty opera about globalization."
Alexandre Fillon in Livres Hebdo
"With Grand Manila, a wonderful testimonial novel, Fløgstad revives his hometown, hidden in a fjord under a tiara of clouds, which he describes so well that they become characters of their own."
André Clavel in Lire
"A great example of an industrial world midway between documentation and fiction in a manner Zola would have embraced – and which is lacking in contemporary literature."
Évelyne Bloch-Dano in Le Magazine littéraire
"In short words this is a powerful, imaginative novel, totally unpretentious, where the poet allows himself to be a poet, but at the same time proves to be an excellent investigator and a talented historian. "
Jean-Maurice de Montremy in Le Journal du Dimanche
"But Grand Manila is not only an ode to the working class and its martyrs, an accusation against murderous, totalitarian capitalism. Throughout the novel Fløgstad does wonderful things with language, the Nordic, the English; the dialects, the accents, the semantic shifts from one village to the next. He adds life to the language, the flux of life, the human essence of orality. He seems to strech the local into a global phenomenon without reducing it. Grand Manila is a wonderfully ageless song. An ambitious and original piece of work."
Dominique Aussenac in Le Matricule des Anges