Add Best Comp

Add comparable title

Remove comparable title

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Spring 2019

  • Thumbnail View
  • Scrolling view
  • Grid view
Lucky Per
By (author): Henrik Pontoppidan Translated by: Naomi Lebowitz Introduction by: Garth Risk Hallberg
9781101908099 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Classics Apr 16, 2019
$37.00 CAD
Active 5.24 x 8.28 x 1.39 in 664 pages Everyman's Library
Nobel Prize in Literature 1917, Winner
A true neglected classic, this sweeping 1904 novel is a Modernist masterpiece and arguably “the great Danish novel”—but is only newly available in English.

Lucky Per is a bildungsroman about the ambitious son of a clergyman who rejects his faith and flees his restricted life in the Danish countryside for the capital city. Per is a gifted young man who arrives in Copenhagen believing that “you had to hunt down luck as if it were a wild creature, a crooked-fanged beast…and capture and bind it.” Per’s love interest, a Jewish heiress, is both the strongest character in the book and one of the greatest Jewish heroines of European literature. Per becomes obsessed with a grand engineering scheme that he believes will reshape both Denmark’s landscape and its minor place in the world; eventually, both his personal and his career ambitions come to grief. At its heart, the story revolves around the question of the relationship of “luck” to “happiness” (the Danish word in the title can have both meanings), a relationship Per comes to see differently by the end of his life.

REDISCOVERED WORLD CLASSIC: This acclaimed masterpiece of European literature deserves to be better known in the English-speaking world.

THE DANISH TOLSTOY: Pontoppidan won the Nobel Prize in 1917, and is one of the most important and influential Danish writers of the twentieth century. The New York Review of Books recently proclaimed him “the Danish Tolstoy.”

LIMITED AVAILABILITY: Lucky Per was never translated into English until 2010, and then only by a tiny press based in Switzerland (Peter Lang), so it is barely available here (copies of the paperback cost more than $130 online).

PUBLICITY OPPORTUNITY: Because of its unusual publishing history, our publicity department will have a chance to start fresh with this one and get significant review attention for it.

ENTHUSIASTIC INTRODUCER: Garth Risk Hallberg is championing this novel.

FILM ADAPTATION: Bille August, director of the Oscar-winning Pelle the Conqueror, is filming a four-part series for Danish TV that will also be released as a feature film in 2019, starring Katrine Greis-Rosenthal (of The Bridge).

BEAUTIFUL PACKAGE: Everyman’s Library pursues the highest production standards, with classically designed books on acid-free cream-colored paper, full-cloth cases with two-color foil stamping, decorative endpapers, silk ribbon markers, European-style half-round spines, and striking jackets.

HENRIK PONTOPPIDAN (1857-1943) was a Danish novelist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917 for “his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark.” The son of a rural minister, he moved to Copenhagen as a young man and eventually earned his living as a journalist and writer. He is best known for the sweeping social novels he wrote between 1890 and the 1920s, which “reflect the social, religious, and political struggles of the time.”

Marketing: Advertising:

National Print and Online Advertising

Publicity: Publicity:

Social Media campaign

“This sprawling saga of one Dane’s life also succeeds as an epochal portrait of noisy, pluralistic, turn-of-the-20th-century Europe.” --Publishers Weekly

“[Pontoppidan is] a full-blooded storyteller who scrutinizes our lives and society so intensely that he ranks within the highest class of European writers…He judges the times and then, as a true poet, points us towards a purer, more honorable way of being human.” —Thomas Mann
“What startled its contemporaries about this strange novel was…the sense of something new, one of those as yet unnamed and perhaps unnameable psychic discoveries for which the novelists of the period—from Dostoevsky to James—desperately searched…This turns out to have been the novel’s project…to modify our sense of what luck or happiness means.” 
“Henrik Pontoppidan rules over the province of Danish letters with a grey-bearded authority akin to Leo Tolstoy’s or Henry James’s…[LUCKY PER is] one of the great novels about modernity…[It] breathes the excited, tempestuous air of its time, but it often feels strikingly modern.” —THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
“This novel, with its relentless probing for what lies beyond our blind spots, will leave standing no final protection from the human truth: not class, not learning, not ideology, and in these moments when a character grows strong enough to drop her blinders and simply see, as the novelist sees, Lucky Per becomes not just great, but prophetic.” —from the Introduction by Garth Risk Hallberg

of 138


Step 1 of 2

Thanks for signing up! Please tell us a little about yourself.
* Indicates required field

Step 2 of 2

Forgotten Password

Please enter your email address and click submit. An email with instructions on resetting your password will be sent to you.

Forgotten Password

An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.