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.
"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.”
—Fredric Jameson, LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
“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
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