The Child | Granta

  • Published: 06/05/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783785469
  • Granta Books
  • 160 pages

The Child

Kjersti A. Skomsvold

Translated by Martin Aitken

A young mother speaks to her second born child. Since the drama of childbirth, all feels calm. The world is new and full of surprises, even though dangers lurk behind every corner; a car out of control, disease ever-present in the air, the unforgiving speed of time.

She tells of the times before the child was born, when the world felt unsure and enveloped in darkness, of long nights with an older lover, of her writing career and the precariousness of beginning a relationship and then a family with her husband, Bo.

A portrait of modern motherhood, THE CHILD is a love story about what it means to be alive and stay alive, no matter how hard the journey.

The Child pays close, intelligent attention to motherhood and art. It's written with memorable precision and love, and I was sorry to finish it

Sarah Moss

I loved this book, as raw and shimmering as the early nights of motherhood; through its poetic fragments and deep thought the wonder, fear and joy of intimacy shine

Liz Berry, author of, The Republic of Motherhood

Precise and careful, page after page of well-judged, unusual phrases that remain in the mind... Skomsvold writes with empathetic clarity on the sensibility of the artist.

Irish Times

The Author

Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold made a sensational debut with The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am, published by Dalkey Press in English. The book won the Vesaas First Book Award, was shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize and has been sold to publishers in more than 25 countries. She is the author of four acclaimed novels, a book of poetry and a children’s book.

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The Translator

Martin Aitken is a translator of Scandinavian literature, whose translations include work by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Olga Ravn, Hanne ├śrstavik and Kim Leine. He was shortlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award in 2017, was a finalist at the US National Book Awards in 2018 and received the PEN America Translation Prize in 2019. He lives in Denmark.

More about the translator →

Kjersti A. Skomsvold on

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Notes on Craft

Kjersti A. Skomsvold

Kjersti A. Skomsvold on writing The Child, a book on motherhood and grief.

Fiction | The Online Edition

The Child

Kjersti A. Skomsvold

Translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken, an excerpt from The Child by Kjersti A. Skomsvold.