Wilful Disregard

On the day Ester Nilsson, writer and scholar, a sensible person in a sensible relationship, meets renowned artist Hugo Rask, her rational world begins to unravel.

Ester Nilsson is a sharp, honest, self-disciplined essayist – until she meets self-centred artist Hugo Rask. Julie Myerson captures the flavour of the book in her Guardian review: ‘Love, famously, is blind. People in love can lose even the most basic critical faculties and become capable of monumental self-deception. Hardly a new story, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular myopia as astutely and entertainingly explored as in this stunning novel […] All Ester wants is for Rask to return her feelings, to love her back, to claim her. But when she takes his hand in public it squirms “like a captured maggot, trying to extract itself from hers without making it too obvious”. You want to shout, “Don’t waste another moment with this man!” We’ve all been there – we’ve all been Ester. Your cheeks burn for her, but they also burn for yourself.’

An excruciatingly true and funny novel, a delight and a challenge to translate.