October Child

A fight against the dark

From 2013 to 2017, the narrator was periodically interned in a psychiatric ward where she was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy. As the treatments at this “factory” progressed, the writer’s memories began to disappear. What good is a writer without her memory? This novel, based on the author’s experiences, is an eloquent and profound attempt to hold on to the past, to create a story, to make sense, and to keep alive ties to family, friends, and even oneself. Moments from childhood, youth, marriage, parenting, and divorce flicker across the pages of October Child. This is the story of one woman’s struggle against mental illness and isolation. It is a raw testimony of how writing can preserve and heal.

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Publication date

April, 2021




Linda Boström Knausgård

Linda Boström Knausgård (Sweden) is an author and poet, as well as a producer of documentaries for Swedish radio. Her first novel, The Helios Disaster, was awarded… Read more

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Praise for October Child

October Child is a bold book, not in its openness but in its aloofness, in its faithfulness to literature and language rather than to reason and science. Against the great story of psychiatry with its simple, ready-made answers, Boström Knausgård insists on the irrationality in humans and on the suffering of each individual.”
Gothenburg Post

“Linda Boström Knausgård’s October Child took my breath away. I can’t recall when I last read a novel that struck me and held me fast in this manner.”

October Child is a desperate reckoning with psychiatric care. But it is also an ingeniously composed novel with mercilessly beautiful language.”

“As expected, language that is self-assured and lyrical, yet in an unexpectedly acute and polemical tale.”
Kulturnytt P1

“Linda Boström Knausgård’s prose moves seamlessly and evocatively between worlds. She writes as if in a dream—it’s both eerie and gripping.”

“Linda Boström Knausgård writes with her usual linguistic momentum, there’s a kind of inviting energy in her voice. She balances her desperation with poetic precision and makes the urgency real for the reader.”
Svenska Dagbladet

“Linda Boström Knausgård has the rare ability to place herself at the very center of emotions and make the past seem completely present.”

“Linda Boström Knausgård creates images and scenes with a vibrant presence and her language often takes lovely poetic turns.”
Dagens Nyheter

“Intense and painful.”

“Linda Boström Knausgård’s language is like water: occasionally it pours, sometimes it solidifies to ice. As a reader, I am frozen in her despair.”
Borås Tidning

“In a turmoil of the darkest emotions, one marvels at the clarity of the prose. Throughout her internment, the author asks herself a question: Will I be able to write again? Do I have what it takes? The simple and quick answer to that question is, Yes.”
Östersund Post

“A bloodcurdling memorial work, as if secretly written from a bedside. It is a difficult read, painful because it is at once so insightful and despairing, so hopeless, and written with a frightening anger that spares no one, least of all the narrator. It is less literary than Boströms Knausgård’s previous work; and perhaps precisely because of this, in its vulnerable non-perfection, it is so overwhelming. One cannot forget it.”
SVT Nyheten