Detaljerna The Details

A celebrity who wrote a letter, a friend that disappeared beyond the map and a love without a future are awakened from the past, as a woman lies bedridden from a high fever.

The Details is a novel built around four portraits unveiling the fragments of a life, seemingly built around the details. Can a loved one really disappear? And who is the subject of the portrait, the person being painted or the one holding the brush?

“We live so many lives inside our lives, smaller lives with people coming and going, friends disappearing, children growing up, and I never understand which of my lives is the frame itself.”


Aftonbladet Literary Prize Sweden 2023
Vi Literary Award Sweden 2023
Shortlisted for the Storytel Awards (Best Fiction) Sweden 2023
Shortlisted for Svenska Dagbladet’s Literature Prize Sweden 2022
Winner of the August Prize 2022 (Best fiction of the year) Sweden 2022
Shortlisted for the Adlibris Awards (Best Fiction) Sweden 2022
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  • “In The Details a burning fever becomes a portal to the past and those relationships that once meant everything – in a life that no longer exists. With melancholy, precision and humorous undertones, Ia Genberg conjures the fragments that make up a person, and allows her voice to resonate with its distinctive tonality. In this highly perceptive feel for the small details, an entire world comes alive.”

    August Prize jury, Sweden

  • The Details by Ia Genberg is a masterpiece. /… / It is so beautifully constructed that it takes my breath away.”

    Sveriges Radio, P1, Sweden

  • “Every portrait becomes a lyrical encyclopedia encompassing the human life. Everyday events are depicted in all its complexity with existential, even political dimensions. The novel invites the reader to the kind of recognition that’s an eyeopener about one’s own everyday and the depths that that entails. /…/ When the final page has been turned, I feel profound sadness over having to leave the vivid world of this text. But I’m left without a choice. In the same way that the fever has an end point, every relationship is finite, be it with regards to a place, another human being or yourself for that matter. Everything else is simply details.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “Ia Genberg has the ability to truly linger in those moments that with the illumination of time passed, transpire in its full meaning. And sometimes in its full absurdity/…/ To describe that which has been lost is a recurring theme with [Genberg], but she has never accomplished it in such an intelligent and consistent manner as she does here. I very much enjoy this novel and hope it will result in the big break that Ia Genberg so much deserves.”

    Expressen, Sweden

  • “If a novel is released this year that beats this, 2022 will go down in history as a historically great Swedish literary year.”

    Dagens Industri, Sweden

  • “If you want to brag about having read the August Prize winner, it may be a good idea to put your teeth into Ia Genberg’s The Details right now.”

    Café, Sweden

  • “Ia Genberg likens feverish reading to a kind of lottery. The content of the text can either go lost or penetrate deeply into the inadvertent loopholes that are laid bare when the body temperature is racing, she writes. In my case the latter happens.”

    Smålandsposten, Sweden

  • “And it is clearly a remarkable virtuoso narrative, in which the author not only excels in her ability to load the details with meaning but also places them with the greatest possible effect. The novel is short, only 150 pages, and I read it unusually slowly. There is a lot to draw attention to here and I linger with pleasure in formulations tight as a glittery dress on a millennium party /… / These are stories that are absolutely brilliant.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “Ia Genberg writes straight forward and carefully, picking out and examining instants that at the moment may have seemed  like another small shard of life among all the rest, but which afterwards appear as a crucial detail /… /  Ia Genberg’s touch is completely superb after all.”

    ETC, Sweden

  • “For me, this was the highlight of this year’s [August Prize] nominations. Ia Genberg has written a book that hovers between memory and fiction, which both embraces the art of writing a novel and strives against it in an extremely fruitful way.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “It is barely 150 pages long, but it is a great novel that forces its way into the reader’s subconscious”

    Kulturnytt, Swedish National Radio, Sweden

  • “Ia Genberg shows the human being as a whole.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “An obvious [August Prize] win for Ia Genberg’s hypersensitive The Details.

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • The Details is a novel one will be wanting to return to, over and over. It’s short, but accommodates a river of precise observations. It’s furious, yet written with excellent finesse. /…/ We’re still only in January, but if I were to make an attempt to predict what Ia Genberg will mean for the literary year of 2022, I will put my money on The Details becoming the book everyone wishes they themselves had written. ”

    Västerbotten-Kuriren, Sweden

  • “[Ia Genberg] suddenly came along with the ability to blend pessimism and humour with a superbly tuned in language that was bouncy and playful. /…/ Ia Genberg has an unusual ear for the noise of society, or in this case, how it sounded more than twenty years ago. And her style is funny, clever and shrewd. Penetrating and rather raw. But she also accomplishes a sense of gravity. /…/ Through Ia Genberg’s distinctive eye for the details that serves to unveil emotion, a novel emerges that beats and throbs.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “It’d be a challenge to find an author that’s more imaginative, unique and stylistically edgy. /…/ How sure of aim and delicately does Genberg capture the dynamic in these relationships! At times the stories are tragicomical, but overall this novel is more serious than her previous works. That is not a loss, it simply makes Ia Genberg’s astounding talent for depicting people emerge the clearer. ”

    Vi Läser, Sweden

  • “[Ia Genberg’s] way of crafting new literature about time, a shrouding of the past if you will, is a dream for literary critics. /…/ [The Details] is something different one simply has to encounter. For its integrity, beauty, wildness. Such an author is Ia Genberg. /…/ Not to say that Ia Genberg hasn’t already been praised – but that simply isn’t enough!”

    SVT Kulturnyheterna, Sweden

  • “As a writer, Ia Genberg is a master of details. /…/ The novel beams with the love for human encounters. That’s why The Details gets under your skin.”

    Femina, Denmark

  • “With the latest novel, the curiosity for humans is refined as the author’s signum. The vision is clear, but forgiving. It relies on the people who come and go through a life and who’s imprints make us who we are. The book stays close to every day life, but billows like a body in constant movement. With a focus on the concentration of moments, the story reaches beyond klichés and the latches of chronology.”

    Aftonbladet Literary Prize Jury, Sweden

  • “Last year, Ia Genberg and her novel The Details received the August Prize for Sweden’s best fiction book. And rightly so. It’s a great little book. /…/ [Ia] constructs a landscape of pure existence, where everything is incidental, at the blink of an eye, resistant of chronological order and without either beginning or end. Everything flows. /…/ [The Details] is revolutionary in its simplicity. ”

    Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

  • “Swedish Ia Genberg writes with unmistakable precision about the key figures which form our lives /…/ Wonderful, effortless and instinctive portraits.”

    Atlas Magasin, Denmark

  • “With humor and thorough melancholy, in The Details, Ia Genberg shows how we prevail through each other. The novel portrays and casts light on four relationships which once shook existence. With a meticulous psychological ear, the past is written just as vividly as life itself.”

    Jury's motivation Vi Literary Award 2022, Sweden

  • “I can confirm that even for someone born in Oslo in 1996, this novel which takes place in Sweden in the 90’s,  gives life to a town, an era so meticulous and alive it’s if I am living it myself. /…/ Genberg takes us there, written with a sobre, playful tone. Many sentences were re-read; beautiful, sure in aim and insightful. /…/ It’s especially the way in which Genberg depicts her portraits that stay with me – sharp, without judgement.”

    Dagens Næringsliv, Norway

  • “The Swedish August Prize winner writes about what in the world it is that makes us who we are with great precision /…/ The narrator is in a way but a shadow on the novel’s form level, but through a glance and depictions of the other kin, she gracefully comes forward with a clear understanding of the light in one’s being. /…/ a little and important spark of joy in the January darkness.”


    Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

  • “The winner of the Swedish August Prize is one of those kinds of books you want to give away to your best friends. Serene commemorative art of high caliber.”

    Litteratursiden, Denmark

  • “Ia Genberg writes about longing, loss and transience in a novel told through meditative glimpses from lost friendships.”

    Weekendavisen, Denmark

  • “[This] award-winning Swedish novel is as wonderful as it is heavy-hearted.”


    Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

  • The Details is magnificent proof that a literary masterpiece does not have to be [heavy as] a brick. That it is a sublime art to write a piece where not a single sentence can be speared.”


    Ekstra Bladet, Denmark

  • “A story about loving and about loving to read /…/ Genberg writes clearly and straightforward, condensed into emotions.”


    Politiken, Denmark

  • “A little piece of commemorative art for all of us who have friends or lovers attached to stories we no longer write about, which we are still affected by.”


    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “Too good to be left standing in the book shelf. /…/ With The Details, Swedish Ia Genberg has written the defining novel of the 90’s generation.”

    NRK, Norway

  • “It is striking how every portrait is marked by an effort to see the person for what she really was; Genberg’s encircling method searches for accuracy, for a truth of the four persons, that makes the text appear with a rare openness and fairness.”

    Klassekampen, Norway

  • “Already in the opening we can see the calm and soft elegance of Genberg’s style: The eloquence never falls into mannerisms, rather it pushes the thinking forward, with precision and sensitivity. Here I am in the best of literary hands. As much is obvious.”

    Morgenbladet, Norway

  • “The relationships are so sharply written that the reader can see them. The intensity of the portrayal of intimacy (…) is breathtaking, and one of the most beautiful things that I have read in a long time.”


    Dagbladet, Norway

  • The Details is nothing less than a gorgeous piece of writing that does not want, or need, to bellow to be heard /…/ Genberg writes with great precision and, well, a richness of details. There is a sense of necessity in this novel that pulls the reader along.”


    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “I am swept away by an exciting plot, subtlety, and humor /…/ Last year’s winner of the Swedish August Prize has launched fever as an original and enchanting mean of narrativization. An interesting writer to follow.”


    Adresseavisen, Norway

Ia Genberg
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Reading material

English translation

Swedish edition

Rights sold

Albania, Shkupi

Arab World, Dar Al Muna

Bulgaria, Orange Books

Canada, HarperVia

Catalonia, Empúries

China, Thinkingdom (Simplified Chinese)

Croatia, Hena com

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Gads Forlag

Estonia, Rahva Raamat

Faroe Islands, Sprotin

Finland, Johnny Kniga

France, Le Bruit du Monde

Germany, Rowohlt

Hungary, Libri/Jelenkor

Iceland, Benedikt

Italy, Iperborea

Korea, Munhakdongne

Netherlands, De Bezige Bij

Norway, Oktober

Poland, Pauza

Portugal, Dom Quixote

Serbia, Heliks

Spain, Gatopardo Ediciones

Sweden, Weyler

Turkey, Ithaki

UK, Wildfire

US, HarperVia

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