A New Name: Septology VI-VII

Finalist, National Book Awards 2022 for Translated Literature

book cover for Jon Fosse, A New Name: Septology VI-VII
ISBN 9781945492570
Transit Books
author photo of Jon Fosse. (Photo credit: Tom A. Kolstad)
Jon Fosse

Jon Fosse was born in 1959 on the west coast of Norway and is the recipient of countless prestigious prizes, both in his native Norway and abroad. More about this author >

translator Damion Searls. (Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan)
Damion Searls

Damion Searls is an award-winning translator from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch, and the author of The Inkblots, a history of the Rorschach test and biography of its creator. More about this author >

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Translated from the Norwegian

From the publisher:

Asle is an aging painter and widower who lives alone on the west coast of Norway. His only friends are his neighbor, Åsleik, a traditional fisherman-farmer, and Beyer, a gallerist who lives in the city. There, in Bjørgvin, lives another Asle, also a painter but lonely and consumed by alcohol. Asle and Asle are doppelgängers—two versions of the same person, two versions of the same life.

In this final installment of Jon Fosse’s Septology, “a major work of Scandinavian fiction” (Hari Kunzru), we follow the lives of the two Asles as younger adults in flashbacks: the narrator meets his lifelong love, Ales; joins the Catholic Church; and makes a living by trying to paint away all the pictures stuck in his mind. A New Name: Septology VI-VII is a transcendent exploration of the human condition, and a radically other reading experience—incantatory, hypnotic, and utterly unique.

Judges Citation

Prayerful and reflective, Jon Fosse’s A New Name takes you into a dreamlike state of reading that re-orders perceptions of time and space, all while questioning the singularity of character. Damion Searls’ English version manages to convey both concreteness and ethereality, both the sensual and the transcendent. The book is no less than a stylistic and perspectival tour de force, which gives the impression that you have lived through an entire life, perhaps more than one, in communion with its characters.


Jon Fosse and Damion Searls at the 2022 National Book Awards Finalist Reading