The Black Signs

By Lars Mørch Finborud
Design: FUK Graphic Design
ISBN: 978-3-943196-29-0
Translated from the Norwegian by Becky Crook
127 x 184 mm
180 pages
November 2014

Fiction | Novel
New Scandinavian Fiction

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A gravel path stops at the doorstep of an extraordinary house which is completely crammed with piles of black signs, memorial plaques dedicated to inconsequential, horrible or forgotten events – documentation of a hidden reality – an unprecedented project on a huge scale. The solicitor who has been engaged to handle the estate comes across a protocol containing passionate letters addressed to a mysterious friend. Stuck in between the letters he also finds remnants of a catalogue listing nigh on eight million items – relics and collectors’ objects from the history of modern art. Each item has been auctioned. What follows soon adds up to an incredible and at times ambiguously dazzling tale that is at once unique and yet truly of our time.

Nominated for the Young People's Critics' Prize in Norway 2013

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Critical acclaim:

"An unusually powerful first novel"

Morgenbladet

"I praised Finborud's debut when it was published this spring, and I'm still full of praise. Here we meet among others a fairly eccentric grandmother, two young men, millions of black signs, jutegnask from the history of art and a lawyer who tries to weave this mess into a story"
Thea Urdal, Books of the year 2013, Dagsavisen

"This is a literary debut different from all the others and I am impressed and at the same time wondering if he is fucking us up? The Black Signs is a novel that involves the reader and offers no straight answers. It is very original and highly welcome! I want more!"
Aftenposten

"Lars Mørch Finborud introduces himself with a bang, with this absurd and cunning first novel."

Dagbladet

"He paints a story so quaint, absurd and tragicomic that you can't help hoping that Finborud will write more - and do so quickly"
Dagsavisen

Lars Mørch Finborud was born in Oslo in 1980. Norwegian debut novel in decades, winning much praise across the Norwegian cultural landscape, putting him up there with recent Norwegian breakthroughs like Karl Øve Knausgaard. He has a degree in art history and works as a curator and musical director at Henie Onstad Art Centre. Finborud runs the record companies Plastic Strip Press and Prisma Records, and in recent years he has also written on a regular basis for the literary magazine Vinduet and Morgenbladet, a weekly newspaper. In addition, he hosts an NRK radio show.