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.”

“This beautiful, moving book unfolds in four stand-alone portraits that, together, yield a sharp, poignant picture of the portraitist. The narrative blurs the boundaries that separate memoir from fiction, past from present, and self from other, which evokes the spell of fever during which it was written. The miraculous sort of novel that fuses with our personal memories and becomes part of us.”
– Hernan Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winner & New York Times bestseller

“Genberg’s marvelous prose is […] a kind of fever, mesmerizing and hot to the touch.”
– The New York Times

“The non-linear narrative renders the protagonist both vivid and obscure – the perfect conduit for this compelling, uncannily precise meditation on transcience.”
– The Observer


Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2024
Aftonbladet Literary Prize Sweden 2023
Shortlisted for the 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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  • “[The Details’] melancholia feverishly restores a time of impetuous youth, where relationships did not go through screens and a loved one could leave without saying a word. /…/ This retrospect accurately and delicately immerses us in 1990s Stockholm. 

    l’Agenda, France

  • “The literal fever that begins the book mirrors the feverish beginnings and endings of these relationships, as well as the fever of reading— how it forces the reader inward, then leaves an invisible imprint in its wake. Genberg’s marvelous prose is also a kind of fever, mesmerizing and hot to the touch. ”

    The New York Times, US

  • “A novel that is read feverishly, urgently. Inhaled deeply and read in one go, this luminous and intense prose. /…/ With delicacy and finesse, Ia Genberg recalls these trajectories, sketched or, on the contrary, taken with determination. /…/ The magic of literature is that, without ever having smelled the scent of this Swedish coffee, we are drawn into these lives narrated by Ia Genberg.”

    La Montagne, France

  • “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

  • “A luminous and melancholic coming-of-age novel. A must-read. /…/ (…) one of the great revelations of this winter season comes from Sweden, proving once again that Anglo-Saxon authors no longer dominate the foreign literature section. /…/ With the grace of a tightrope walker, Ia Genberg casts fragile threads towards her past /…/ With her writing, both grounded and ethereal, always luminous, Ia Genberg knows how to capture all the details that shape an existence, constructing it while saturating every moment, strangely making significant events appear peripheral. /…/ In this metaphysical, funny, gentle, and melancholic text, a beautiful coming-of-age novel is also written.”

    les Inrockuptibles, France

  • “It is precisely observed and written in a captivating, melancholic, and highly poetic tone.”

    NDR, Germany

  • “A novel steeped in nostalgia that delicately questions our relationship to the world, time, and others.”

    Focus Vif, Belgium

  • “We adored The Details. Ia Genberg has written a truthful, authentic novel about relationships. Her language is beautiful, clear and poetic.”

    ARD, Germany

  • “I loved Ia Genberg’s beautiful novel The Details. It manages to capture the whole, nuanced, messy world of one woman’s life, exclusively via descriptions of the people who have touched it. This is a novel that, in its scaffolding, encapsulates one of the most important ideas of our current political moment – the necessity of connection, and our vulnerability to one other.”

    i-D Magazine, US

  • “Ia Genberg beautifully narrates the details that make up a life. A wistful and wonderful novel.”

    Deutschlandfunk Kultur "Buchkritik", Germany

  • The Details is the first text to be translated by this author, who surprises by creating a brief but vital autobiography, built in 4 chapters, and linked to 4 people who marked her path in different ways. Intimate and with delicate prose, Genberg establishes her own position in the most precious autofiction.”

    Latercera, Chile

  • “Ia Genberg’s magnificent power of memory and imagination makes this novel an exciting self-portrait of an unusual kind.”

    Gießener Allgemeine, Germany

  • “Paul Auster appears frequently [in The Details], and in fact, Genberg herself has a similar strength to that of the American author: she captivates you with a light style that, at the same time, provokes reflection.”

    El Mundo Nacional, Spain

  • The Details, written by the Swedish Ia Genberg, is a wonderfully constructed novel /…/ In a beautiful, precise, and reflective style, Genberg shows how her protagonist searches for the meaning that gives her life significance. Despite the compactness of 160 pages, The Details is a rich novel. Not only because almost everything said has meaning – what do you expect with such a title – but also because Genberg leaves a lot unspoken. ”

    Het Parool, Netherlands

  • The Details is a short book but contains an entire life. The tightly woven web of literary and cultural references helps paint a vivid picture of four relationships and an equal number of time periods in the curious narrator’s life. The book is masterfully constructed. Each chapter creates a clear image of a person and the relationship that leaves a lasting impact. Each of them could even stand as an independent part but also support each other, and each new character adds a new dimension to the story.”

    RÚV - National Broadcasting Service, Iceland

  • “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

  • “Four portraits /…/ linked together by Genberg’s sparkling, slightly ironic tone. /…/ It’s wonderful how Genberg orchestrates The Details like in a symphony, creating a surprising cadence, yet never losing control over her story for a single moment.”

    De Groene Amsterdammer, Netherlands

  • “Stunning. /…/ For [The Details], Genberg received the 2022 August Prize, Sweden’s most prestigious literary award. That is a detail. Nothing else in this book is.  ”

    Elle France, France

  • “This elliptical novel, narrated by an unnamed woman who is confined to her bed by a high fever, consists of four character studies. /…/ she relates her textured insights into human nature through small moments.”

    The New Yorker, US

  • “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 author succeeds in a beautiful way to show the reader how moments and events, which may not seem significant, can have a crucial impact on both parties. /…/ beautiful storytelling with stunning sincerity and atmosphere.”


    Morgunblaðið, Iceland

  • 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

  • “A moving and acute combination of elegy, memoirs and vital reflections. /…/ There is something very luminous about Genberg’s gaze and prose.”

    La Vanguardia, Spain

  • “[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

  • “One of the strong points of the book is the depth and delicacy of the analysis of each character. […] It’s a book that invites you to compare yourself to the protagonists and to remember what you were doing during those years yourself.”

    Ara, Spain

  • “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

  • “The sheer happiness emanating from the text is both due to the writer’s skill in capturing it, and to the reaction of the reader who cannot help but identify with it /…/ Ia Genberg has a lot of talent, and this short novel is full of it  /…/ Genberg also goes into detail because she has things to say, and the richness of language is one of her main weapons […] she dominates the art of storytelling like no one else.”

    El Punt Avui, Spain

  • “[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

  • “A beautiful testimony to our time and a lovely piece of literature. (…) An original, singular, quality look at an elusive, exhilarating, and ordinary era.  ”

    Corse Matin, France

  • “/… / its depiction of relationships in early adulthood has universal appeal. The transactional aspects of dealing with friends and lovers are particularly well-observed. /…/ “[The Details shines in its] careful mapping of a psyche, and Genberg’s empathetic approach to the quirks and failings of her characters. /…/ The greatest achievement of this short and affecting novel is its presentation of those encounters as one long fever dream.””

    Financial Times, UK

  • “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 clichés and the latches of chronology.”

    Aftonbladet Literary 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

  • “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

  • “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

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

    Atlas Magasin, Denmark

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “Proust had his madeleines. The unnamed narrator of The Details has a book. /…/ [The Details] has the smooth documentary realism of a life reconstructed in close-up. It has the deceptively artless air of unmediated experience and an insistence on all detail being of equal importance. ”

    The Times, UK

  • “The nonlinear narrative renders the protagonist both vivid and obscure – the perfect conduit for this compelling, uncannily precise meditation on transience.”

    The Observer, UK

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

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


    Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

  • “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

  • “The details do not emerge all at once. Its beauty burns slowly.  ”

    L'Obs, France

  • “It’s a vivid meditation on fragmented memory, parents and children, relationships and love — everything that makes us human.”

    Harpers Bazaar, Australia

  • 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, the first novel by the Swedish journalist la Genberg, delivers a surprising portrait of the 1990s /…/ She evokes the group of friends with portraits full of accuracy and humor /…/ The author proposes a random way to organize time and questions the traces left by people only crossed or loved, then lost. /…/”

    La Marseillaise, France

  • “These four portraits are all about the details, exquisitely told. An intoxicating and imaginative novel of memory and humanity.”

    Book Riot, US

  • 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

  • “When searching for meaning, Ia Genberg reaches for the everyday; when deciphering the present, she delves into the past; and when shaping the simple, she embraces complexity.”

    Journal, Croatia

  • “Decisive encounters are markers of our existence but we only grasp them in hindsight, and this is how Genberg examines them, in the manner of Rosa Montero, Virginia Woolf, Paul Auster, virtuosos of the unique writing style of stream of consciousness.”

    Page des libraires, France

  • “Genberg’s prose is a feat of characterization, a triumph of lending language and profundity to observations of daily lifeAt a tight 150 pages, I didn’t read it so much as subconsciously absorb it.  

    Literary Hub, US

  • The Details, by the Swedish author Ia Genberg, is profoundly moving. /…/ There’s a distinctly Bergmanesque force in this final portrait, the most powerful and poignant of all.”

    Le Monde, France

  • “Genberg writes a fragmentary and non-linear structure to reflect the intensity of the narrator’s fever through a quartet of chapters that seep into one another. Every sentence invites introspection. These portraits of characters, in their intimate details and clandestine encounters, build the life of the narrator who is submitting to the past and to nostalgia, generous in her reveries, and grandiose in the impending ruptures. ”

    nb. Magazine, UK

  • “An intimate and touching meandering of a young woman overcome by melancholy.”

    Le Parisien, France

  • “The details in these pages are my life, probably your life – zephyrs glancing through our skin moment by moment, so nuanced that we don’t notice. /…/ Genberg’s novel has swept through the world in much the same way as Bonnie Garmus’s Lessons in Chemistry. Entirely different books but equally serious. The authors share the remarkable and rare thing where the reader falls into their novel and nothing else exists until they tip out, mournful to arrive – again! – in the everyday. /…/ What writing! /…/ The analysis of anxiety, everyday anxiety, is both incisive and poetic. /…/  ”

    The Monthly, UK

  • “Genberg attends closely to the book’s emotional heart, and we hear its throb like thunder. /…/ Reading it leaves you compelled to sprint to a restaurant, seize an outdoor table, and spend a whole evening and night in conversation with someone important. ”

    The New Statesman, UK

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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

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Hebrew, Achuzat Bayit

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India, Ulysses Press

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Spain, Gatopardo Ediciones

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Türkiye, Ithaki

UK, Wildfire

US, HarperVia

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