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Will and Testament chosen for 2019 NBA for Translated Literature Longlist

Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth and translated by Charlotte Barslund was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Awards for Translated Literature.

Verso Books17 September 2019

Will and Testament chosen for 2019 NBA for Translated Literature Longlist

The New Yorker announced the longlist for the 2019 National Book Awards for Translated Literature and we are thrilled to have Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth and translated from Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund listed in this year's excellent line-up. Will and Testament is the first novel in Verso's Fiction imprint, a new series of uncompromisingly intelligent and beautiful books with an international focus. 

See all of the longlisted titles for translated literature here.

Will and Testament received the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize and has sold over 150,000 copies in Norway. It was also nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. Vigdis Hjorth is the author of over a dozen prize-winning and bestselling novels.

When a dispute over her parents’ will grows bitter, Bergljot is drawn back into the orbit of the family she fled twenty years before. Her mother and father have decided to leave two island summer houses to her sisters, disinheriting the two eldest siblings from the most meaningful part of the estate. To outsiders, it is a quarrel about property and favouritism. But Bergljot, who has borne a horrible secret since childhood, understands the gesture as something very different—a final attempt to suppress the truth and a cruel insult to the grievously injured.

Will and Testament is a lyrical meditation on trauma and memory, as well as a furious account of a woman’s struggle to survive and be believed. Vigdis Hjorth’s novel became a controversial literary sensation in Norway and has been translated into twenty languages.


“This is a novel that people could enjoy either as high literature or as a work of down-and-dirty revenge. The tabloids loved it as much as the broadsheets, and it became the bestselling novel of the year.”  – Guardian

“In a ruthless yet patiently delivered work, Hjorth does something that few writers achieve: Will and Testament is both economical and overwhelming.” – Financial Times

“Furious and wise, trembling and stringent. This is the novel in weaponized form.” – NRK (Norwegian Public Broadcasting) 

"Will and Testament is a compulsively readable novel, one that turns questions of shame into weapons against silence." – Paris Review

“The strength of the novel lies in Bergljot’s convincing and continuing vulnerability, in her mixed feelings and her flaws. A clear-eyed and convincing story of a family’s doomed attempt to reconcile and the limits of forgiveness.” – Kirkus

"Hjorth’s thoughtful, drily funny, and often devastating novel will leave a deep and lasting impression on readers." – Publishers Weekly

“Hjorth parcels out the secrets with a precision worthy of Ibsen, so that the level of suspense is maintained up until the very last pages.” – Aftenposten

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Will and Testament
Longlisted for The Millions Best Translated Book Awards for FictionLonglisted for the National Book Award for Translated LiteratureFour siblings. Two summer houses. One terrible secret. When a disp...

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