Valerie: Or, the Faculty of Dreams: A Novel

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Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.4 X 1.3 X 8.3 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Sara Stridsberg is an internationally acclaimed writer and playwright. Her fiction and nonfiction books have been translated into more than twenty languages. A former member of the Swedish Academy, she is a leading feminist and artist in her native Sweden and around the world. Valerie is her first book to be published in the US. Deborah Bragan-Turner has a degree in Scandinavian languages from the University College London. She translates Swedish literature, particularly literary fiction and biographies.


*Longlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize
*Winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize
*Voted the best Swedish novel of the decade by one hundred Swedish critics, authors, journalists and publishers, in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

"Valerie is one of the most genuinely insubordinate books I have read, and one of the most beautiful . . . Stridsberg infuses her protagonist with epic, tragic brilliance . . . her anarchism is humanized, without losing its teeth . . . One finishes this novel feeling taken by Valerie, but, even more, moved by the author's love for her, the generosity that allows a potentially pathetic figure to become heroic, a guardian spirit."
--Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

"Inventive and stimulating . . . As each new piece of Stridsberg's portrait of Valerie is added, it alters the big picture, provocatively. The novel is as much about how little one can understand other people as it is about Valerie's life. Stridsberg entertainingly casts new light on both Solanas and on how society views pop culture."
--Publishers Weekly

"This is a brilliant re-imagining of the life and times of one of America's great cultural icons. If Solanas was alive I'm sure she'd be amazed (and perhaps even gratified) to see what poetic feeling her remarkable destiny has aroused."
--Vivian Gornick, author of The Odd Woman and the City

"Sara Stridsberg's fantasy about the life of Valerie Solanas has attained the status of myth. We can finally read that novel--a cross between Franz Kafka's Amerika and Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis--in this powerful, poetic translation. Stridsberg conjures up the loneliness and desire of Valerie, our Valerie--shit-stirrer, tormented genius, cast-off misfit--as well as the vertigo, passion, and complexity of a whole life beyond and through the sensationalized headlines, the caricature. Stridsberg's intensity and love in writing Valerie's life is something of its own manifesto."
--Kate Zambreno, author of Heroines

"In Valerie, Sara Stridsberg has given us a wild ride through the haunted house of an infamous woman's memory, experience, and embodiment. A love-letter to the deep insanity of peak twentieth-century America, and testament to a life lived in its margins."
--Elisa Albert, author of After Birth

"The thrilling spectacle, the muscles and bone, of a vibrant, living text . . . This novel of rare strength unleashes an irresistible seduction." --Le Monde (France)

"Affectionate and incisive, compassionate and courageous." --Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)

"Brilliant, multi-layered, thrilling . . . a burning love letter with icy observation at its core." --Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)

"With [Valerie], Stridsberg proved that she is among the finest authors of contemporary Nordic literature." --Aftenposten (Norway)

"Stridsberg's evocation of Valerie Solanas conjures images that are poetic and enchanting." --Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)

"Stridsberg's language is brilliant; feverish yet clear. The depiction of the milieus of American workers, academics and artists from the 1940s to the 1980s is superb, but at the centre is the tender yet razor-sharp insight into the mind of a limitlessly fascinating individual." --Deutschland Radio Kultur (Germany)

"Impressive and bewitching, [Valerie] is unquestionably one of the revelations of the publishing season." --Le Nouveau Magazine Littéraire (France)

"At once a hagiography, an exercise in admiration, and a portrait of a marginal America, this passionate novel reveals the fate of the woman who wanted to shoot Andy Warhol." --Lire (France)

"Urgent and poetic . . . fascinating literature." --Bayerischer Rundfunk (Germany)

"Stridsberg excels in mixing documented facts with a liberated fiction in a feverish, vibrant prose." --Nordic Council Award