Nominated by:

Waterford City Libraries, Ireland

Oslo Public Libraries, Norway

Publisher of nominated edition:

Dalkey Archive Press, USA

The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am

Kjersti A. Skomsvold      

Translated from the original Norwegian by Kerri A. Pierce

2013 Shortlist

Mathea Martinsen has never been good at dealing with other people. After a lifetime, her only real accomplishment is her longevity: everyone she reads about in the obituaries has died younger than she is now. Afraid that her life will be over before anyone knows that she lived, Mathea digs out her old wedding dress, bakes some sweet cakes, and heads out into the world—to make her mark. She buries a time capsule out in the yard. (It gets dug up to make room for a flagpole.) She wears her late husband’s watch and hopes people will ask her for the time. (They never do.) Is it really possible for a woman to disappear so completely that the world won’t notice her passing? The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am is a macabre twist on the notion that life “must be lived to the fullest.”

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Kjersti A. Skomsvold was born in 1979 in Oslo. The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am is her first novel.

Librarians’ Comments

Bittersweet little novel following the elderly Mathea as she ponders the fullness of life and the impression a life can leave behind.

In The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am Skomsvold captures the sadness in being lonely in the sweetest way. The novel is tragicomic in the best way.

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