1129 pages and not a dull moment. Il faut le faire. With Max, Mischa & Tetoffensiven, Johan Harstad did it. This whopper of a novel about identity, politics and art earned the Norwegian writer the Europese Literatuurprijs and a place on the world stage of literature. Roderik Six has his/her questions ready.
On identity and dealing with the past
Max grew up in the 1970s and 1980s in Stavanger, in the north of Norway, where the Vietnam War and the infamous Tet Offensive is nothing more than a game for Max and his young friends. When he moves to the US as a teenager, he has trouble letting go of his fatherland. But Max finds support with his friend Mordecai, his sweetheart Mischa and his uncle, the Vietnam veteran Owen. He discovers that the US is mainly made up of uprooted migrants.
A trip through (art) history
Max, Mischa & Tetoffensiven is not only a fascinating coming-of-age drama. In his book, Harstad also provides insight into profoundly human and universal feelings and in passing takes you on a trip through the (art) history of the second half of the twentieth century. Harstad’s doorstop of a novel takes in the Vietnam War, 9/11, Apocalypse Now, jazz music and Mark Rothko, among others.
From cult author to public’s favourite
In 2002 Johan Harstad published his first collection of stories, Ambulanse. Three years later he released his first novel, Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?. The book was given a second life in Norway as a TV series and became a cult book on the international scene. Harstad’s second novel, Hässelby, takes its inspiration from, among others, David Lynch’s series Twin Peaks. Max, Mischa & Tetoffensiven is Harstad’s third novel. The Norwegian has also written short stories and plays, and he has published a non-fiction book about the Norwegian band Motorpsycho.
Johan Harstad will sign his/her books at 16:00 in the Beursschouwburg. Books will also be for sale at the signing.
Passa Porta, Norla, Podium, Elke Dag Boeken, Embassy of Norway, Beursschouwburg