Discover “The Unseen”

Roy Jacobsen. Photo Frederik Arff.JPG
Photo: Frederik Arff

One of the six on the final nomination to the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, was Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen.

Roy Jacobsen’s novel “The Unseen” (De usynlige) from 2013 takes the readers to the barren but beautiful landscape of Helgelandskysten, part of the coast of Northern Norway. The readers follow a family in the years 1913-1928. In the Unseen he writes about the coastal proletariat, an environment he has known throughout his life. As the author says, “there were thousands of such islands on the Norwegian coast. Today there is none. They deserve to be seen.” 

The novel has received brilliant reviews in the UK. Being a nominee for this prize has also contributed to renewed interest and 15 new contracts. According to the publisher Cappelen Damm, the book has already sold over 170.000 copies in Norway, and the book is sold to 18 countries. 

The author is particularly pleased with the English edition of the book. “It has been a pleasure for me to read this book in English because it is done by a professional translator like Donald Bertlett and his friend Don Shaw.” 

The Unseen is part of a trilogy, the second book was released in 2015 under the name Hvitt hav (White Ocean) and takes place in the transformative year of Norwegian history; 1944-45. The third book will be released this autumn. 

Israeli David Grossman won the Man Booker International Prize, together with the translator Jessica Cohen, with the book A Horse Walks into a Bar. 

We congratulate Roy Jacobsen for the nomination and look forward to reading more of his books.