Present Tense Machine
"An ingenious pocket universe." --Caitlin Horrocks, The New York Times Book Review
"Gunnhild Øyehaug is a magician of the highest rank." --Catherine Lacey
On an ordinary day in Bergen, Norway, in the late 1990s, Anna is reading in the garden while her two-year-old daughter, Laura, plays on her tricycle. Then, in one startling moment, Anna misreads a word, an alternate universe opens up, and Laura disappears. Twenty years or so later, life has gone on as if nothing happened. In each of the women's lives, however, something is not quite right.
Both Anna and Laura continue to exist, but they are invisible to each other and forgotten in each other's worlds. Both are writers and amateur pianists. Both are married; Anna had two more children after Laura disappeared, and Laura is expecting a child of her own. They worry about their families, their jobs, the climate--and whether this reality is all there is.
In the exquisite, wistful, slyly profound Present Tense Machine, Gunnhild Øyehaug delivers another dazzling renovation of what fiction can do, a testament to the fact that language shapes the world.
About this Author
Gunnhild Øyehaug is an award-winning Norwegian poet, essayist, and fiction writer. FSG has published her story collection Knots as well as her novel Wait, Blink, which was adapted into the acclaimed film Women in Oversized Men's Shirts. Øyehaug lives in Bergen, where she teaches creative writing.
Kari Dickson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and grew up bilingual. She has a BA in Scandinavian studies and an MA in translation. Her translation of Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås and illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, won the 2020 Mildred L. Batchelder Award. Before becoming a translator, she worked in theater in London and Oslo.
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