From an Unsuccessful Vanishing ActLarsen, Terje Holtet: Fra et mislykket forsvinningsnummer
Terje Holtet Larsen has demonstrated that he can write masterful short stories in, for example, the short story collection Variations. However, it is not short stories he is presenting this time, but a story with an open structure, in which Holtet Larsen allows himself maximum leeway. As in his previous novel , The Peer Gynt Version, he stretches the boundaries of what we understand as fact and fiction, at the same time as using his own life as a sounding board. It is an enthralling combination he crafts in these stories, and this is a deeply personal book.
Praise for From an Unsuccessful Vanishing Act:
“Every time I read Terje Holtet Larsen, I become so physically attentive to the high quality of the writing that I become giddy with delight in reading. He has a fantastic, wonderful ability to shape realities through his use of language and his incomparable tone.”
“Dazzling. What am I? What is literature? Huge questions in a slim volume, definitely among the most interesting of this autumn’s book season.”
“The lightheartedness of life and the seriousness of death battle side by side in Terje Holtet Larsen’s short stories, and I cannot let them go easily. They twist the tendency to autobiographical writing in contemporary Norwegian literature to a point of pain and level of quality that few other writers come anywhere near.”
“Just like Montaigne’s essays, Terje Holtet Larsen’s stories can be wise and cunning, poignant and racy, all in one breath.”
“This is literary pearl fishing.”
“These are brilliant stories the writer has given us.”
“Bergen-based Terje Holtet Larsen is one of Norway’s most fascinating writers. He has a close contact with the language that makes his books marvellous reads.”
“The stories become a synthesis of fact and fiction, without cloying self-centredness, and with an inner experimental power that is very impressive.”
“Amusing as well as profoundly serious.”
“Terje Holtet Larsen weaves fact and fiction together into a beautiful tapestry in his book, From an Unsuccessful Vanishing Act. Still, what do we really know about truth and lies? All we can know is that this is good, serious literature."
First published: 2004, Kolon forlag
Terje Holtet Larsen: Biography and bibliography