Long Live the Post Horn! (Paperback)
Winner of the 2020 Believer Book Award for Fiction
"A brilliant study of the mundane, full of unexpected detours and driving prose. Hjorth's novel ingeniously orbits the intimate stories that are possible only when a character has put words on paper and sent them through the post." – New York Times Book Review, “The Best Post Office Novel You Will Read Before the Election”
"Vigdis Hjorth is one of my favorite contemporary writers." – Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood and How Should a Person Be?
From the author of the 2019 National Book Award Longlisted Will and Testament
Ellinor, a 35-year-old media consultant, has not been feeling herself; she's not been feeling much at all lately. Far beyond jaded, she picks through an old diary and fails to recognise the woman in its pages, seemingly as far away from the world around her as she's ever been. But when her coworker vanishes overnight, an unusual new task is dropped on her desk. Off she goes to meet the Norwegian Postal Workers Union, setting the ball rolling on a strange and transformative six months.
This is an existential scream of a novel about loneliness (and the postal service!), written in Vigdis Hjorth's trademark spare, rhythmic and cutting style.
About the Author
Vigdis Hjorth is the author of over a dozen prize-winning and best-selling novels. Will and Testament was longlisted for the National Book Award for Translated Literature and won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize. She lives in Oslo.
"A brilliant study of the mundane, full of unexpected detours and driving prose. Hjorth's novel ingeniously orbits the intimate stories that are possible only when a character has put words on paper and sent them through the post."
– John Freeman, New York Times Book Review, “The Best Post Office Novel You Will Read Before the Election”
"Vigdis Hjorth is one of my favorite contemporary writers."
– Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood and How Should a Person Be?
“The ordinary becomes vibrant and life-affirming in Long Live the Post Horn!, an engrossing novel about how even hopeless battles are worth fighting.”
—Eileen Gonzalez, Foreword Reviews
“Hjorth’s substantive and witty novel of personal growth delivers on multiple levels.”
“An emotional, philosophical read … this book is wonderful, and I would urge you to seek it out.”
“Immersive, original … I really would urge you to read it, to be surprised, and to maybe let it change the way you see certain things. “
“A superb story about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”
—The Modern Novel
“Wrenching tenderness from the mouth of irony, Hjorth proves how major effects don’t always come from the heavy-foot pedals.”
—Lit Hub (“Most Anticipated Books of 2020”)
“Long Live the Post Horn! is a brilliant study of the mundane, full of unexpected detours and driving prose … Hjorth’s novel ingeniously orbits the intimate stories that are possible only when a character has put words on paper and sent them through the post.”
—New York Times Book Review
“An engaging, well-honed novel … Hjorth’s writing is both spare and, in an understated way, humorous.”
—R.P. Finch, PopMatters
“A wry and thoughtful take on contemporary life and love … Full of gorgeous Scandi gloom and bleak truths about human relationships”
“[In] Long Live the Post Horn!, the saga of the EU postal directive is an inspired context for a story about personal despair and political awakening.”
—Brian Dillon, 4Columns
“An acidic portrait of one woman’s fight to save the postal service.”
—Megan Evershed, New Republic
“Hjorth holds a magnifying glass to her characters and they fry like ants under the merciless sunlight of her writing. No one of them escapes unscathed, there are no heroes or villains; what we get is a picture of life in a social democracy that is fraying at the edges.”
—Charlotte Barslund, Literary Hub
“Hjorth expertly interrogates feelings of inadequacy in concise paragraphs of wry prose.”
“Droll and rather delightful.”
“A novel about the chicanery of governmental politics has no right to be this absorbing.”
“A big strange wonderful paper hug of a book … I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
“Hjorth asks us to imagine a world where those with narrative power protect the stories of the people over the interests of commerce … The timing was right for this book in Norway in 2012, and the timing is right for us now. A novel like Long Live the Post Horn! does not come around often enough.”
—Makenna Goodman, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Funny, wry, insightful, and finally sincere.”
—Fiona McFarlane, Lit Hub
“The brilliance of Vigdis Hjorth is her ability to match a distinctive lack of sentimentality with a seductive and questing idealism.”
—Emily Stewart, Saturday Paper
“Hjorth’s novel is a jolting tour de force impossible to put down, gleaming with philosophical insight and tenderness in the most unexpected places.”
—Denise Rose Hansen, 3:AM