Still searingly honest but less painfully focused on family

Karl Ove Knausgaard suffers from the kind of honesty that could peel paint. In his six-volume autobiographical novel, “My Struggle,” he wrote with mesmerizing and searing intimacy of his childhood in Norway and of his married life with the writer Linda Boström Knausgaard and their children. His ambition, unabashedly lofty, has been generously rewarded: Since its publication began in 2009, “My Struggle” has turned Knausgaard into the kind of international literary star whose every word is now of interest. His compulsive honesty has won him almost as much condemnation as praise — with the guilt-ridden author himself frequently leading the charge. In 2013, he told the Paris Review that “My Struggle” so embarrassed him he wished he could burn it. At one point, family members cut off contact with him or threatened to sue, and his wife suffered a breakdown in the wake of reading one of his books. The couple have since divorced. Knausgaard’s new book, “Autumn,” springs from the same confessional impulse but in a somewhat softer register. The first of a planned quartet based on the seasons, “Autumn” was composed as a series of letters to his then-unborn fourth child, Anne. In 60 short essays, the […]

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