The acclaimed debut novel of passion and subtlety that links three generations of eccentric, formidable women.
Through the sublimely unreliable voice of its narrator, Karin, Before You Sleep reaches back from present day Oslo to 1930s Brooklyn to relate the emotional legacies of the Blom family. Karin is both playful and melancholy—a serial seductress who defines herself in contrast to the women in her life: her mother Anni, alluring, manipulative, and melodramatic; her sister Julie, a wife and mother nearly undone by suspicions of her husband’s infidelity; her aunt Selma, “the world’s angriest old woman”; and her soldier grandmother June, who bets that Karin will be the best damn soldier of them all. Inventive and wise, funny and disquieting, Before You Sleep marks the arrival of a gifted new literary voice.
“Ullmann creates such a powerful mood of intimacy here that the reader feels like a part of the family.” —Los Angeles Times
“Ullmann’s imagination . . . is formed by a love of the intricacies of family life, of the ties that bind.”—The New Yorker
Linn Ullmann is a graduate of New York University, where she studied English literature and began work on a Ph.D. She returned to her native Oslo in 1990 to pursue a career in journalism. A prominent literary critic, she also… More about Linn Ullmann