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Nordic Book Club: W. A Novel by Steve Sem-Sandberg
Join us to discuss contemporary Nordic literature online! On March 7, we'll be discussing W. A Novel by Steve Sem-Sandberg, who discussed the novel with us last September in a virtual book talk streaming here.

Considered the first modern drama and based on true events, Georg Büchner's play Woyzeck tells the story of a loyal soldier and survivor of the Napoleonic Wars who, in a fit of jealous rage, kills the woman he loves. In this literary reimagining of the text, Sem-Sandberg’s W grippingly recounts the lovers’ relationship, the murder case, and the execution, unfolding as the soldier W. struggles to recount the events of his life. He grasps at understanding and experiences feelings of time and timelessness; he finds patterns and repetitions, but these are of no interest to those determining his fate.

Bringing new light to this story from court documents from the original case, Sem-Sandberg masterfully sustains a rich period atmosphere though poetic and controlled prose even down to the choice of pronouns, as the soldier is held at a cold distance in court proceedings when addressed with the formal, capitalized “You.” Against a landscape devastated by inhumanity and greed and, yet, which manages to sustain hope, W. tells a ruthless, moving, and utterly relevant story of a soldier fighting to make something of the life given to him.

Advance registration is required but open to all; a link to the online meeting and password for login will be sent to you after registering. At the start of the meeting, all participants will appear online so that they are able to take part in the meeting.

Mar 7, 2023 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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