Explaining the Knausgaard Publishing Situation

There seems to be a tiny bit of confusion so here’s the deal:

1. Archipelago is doing the hardcovers, FSG is doing the paperbacks.

2. However, Archipelago started publishing Knausgaard before this agreement was made, so they actually did a paperback of Book 1, which has since been discontinued.

3. Yes, the FSG covers are ugly as fuck. True fact: I’ve never met anyone who liked them. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t violently hate them. If anyone can explain them to us, please enlighten us. (Apologies to the designer, whom I’m sure is a very hard-working and very accomplished individual who has done lots of great work and will continue to do great work in the future. But everyone I’ve ever spoken to about these covers can’t be wrong.)

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The Vintage/Random House covers are nice:

And the third book came out this week (or appeared in a nearby bookstore this week). It is a trade paperback, and I have paperbacks, so I will wait.

Though I am interested in Archipelago’s hardcovers.

If FSG originally intended to have a consistent design for the series, it now looks like they are breaking it with Book 2. Instead going with a standard author photo on the cover.

Although Book 1 seems to be out of stock in several places, could it be that the cover is so bad that they are going to reissue it after only a year?

I had to look at the covers to see if they were as bad as you say. My eyes! What were they thinking?


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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