An acclaimed Swedish author makes her English language debut with this intoxicating novel in the vein of Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti, about a woman in the throes of a fever remembering the important people in her past, her memories laid bare in vivid detail as her body temperature rises.
A woman lies bedridden from a high fever. Suddenly she is struck with an urge to revisit a novel from her past. Inside the book is an inscription: a get-well-soon message from Johanna, an ex-girlfriend who is now a famous television host. As she flips through the book, pages from the woman’s own past begin to come alive, scenes of events and people she cannot forget.
There are moments with Johanna, and Niki, the friend who disappeared years ago without a phone number or an address and with no online footprint. There is Alejandro, who appears like a storm in precisely the right moment. And Brigitte, whose elusive qualities mask a painful secret.
The Details is a novel built around four portraits; the small details that, pieced together, comprise a life. Can a loved one really disappear? Who is the real subject of the portrait, the person being painted or the one holding the brush? Do we fully become ourselves through our connections to others? This exhilarating, provocative tale raises profound questions about the nature of relationships, and how we tell our stories. The result is an intimate and illuminating study of what it means to be human.