Karl Ove Knausgård (Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

World’s greatest writer Karl Ove Knausgård is coming to New Zealand

Exclusive: announcing the imminent arrival of hirsute herring-eating huge Norwegian literary superstar Karl Ove Knausgård.

Karl Ove Knausgård – widely regarded as the world’s greatest living writer – will appear at the Auckland Writers Festival in May.

The announcement is a major coup for the AWF, and the event will surely sell out, pretty fucking quickly. Knausgård, 49, is the author of six “autobiographical novels”, in his My Struggle series; published between 2009 and 2011, the books tipped out his life, and his family’s life, in fantastical detail, nothing spared, mundane and intimate and obsessive. James Wood responded with his famous assessment in the New Yorker: “There is something ceaselessly compelling about Knausgård; even when I was bored, I was interested.”

He will be chaired by the ever serene Paula Morris.

The AWF programme was launched tonight at the Auckland Art Gallery. Other authors who have been confirmed to appear during the May 15-20 festival include:

  • Robert Webb, the former co-star and writing partner of Peep Show genius David Mitchell. Webb is the author of a memoir, How Not to be a Boy
  • Alex Ross, the music critic for the New Yorker
  • Bulgarian-born, New Zealand-raised, and now resident of Edinburgh, Kapka Kasabova, who recently won a major international award for her superb travel book Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe
  • Rolling Stone journalist Jeff Goodell, author of The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilised World – a book for our times, a warning, a new masterpiece of enviornmental inquiry. The book is reviewed in the very latest issue of the London Review of Books, thus: “Goodell, who has been reporting on climate change for years, tries to understand how coastal communities will face the inevitable rise in sea levels. He travels from Virginia to the waterparks of Rotterdam talking to scientists, politicians, architects, refugees and people living at the waterline, where regular flooding is already a fact of life. He wades barefoot through the polluted waters that flood Miami Beach during king tides, visits a family living in a “blackwater slum” just outside Lagos, and interviews Barack Obama during his historic trip to Alaska….He finds people with visionary plans, dubious plans and heads planted deep in shifting sands….This is a soggy, saturated book. Everywhere Goodell goes, the water is rising.” He’ll feel at home in Auckland.

Tickets will soon be available via the festival website. The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.

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