Omslagsbild: Ett system så magnifikt att det bländar

Date of release: 2019-03-13
Pages: 552
Sold to: Denmark: Modtryk, France: Actes Sud, Germany: Luchterhand/Random House, Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek, Norway: Gyldendal, Poland: Pauza, Serbia: Blum, Slovenia: Zalozba Pivec, Turkey: Epsilon, UK: Scribe (World English language rights)
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Ett system så magnifikt att det bländar /A System so Magnificent it is Blinding

In October 1989 a set of triplets – Sebastian, Clara and Matilda – are born at the hospital in Lund under dramatic circumstances. The same night another child is born in the same maternity ward, a girl with remarkably blue eyes.

More than two decades later neuroscience graduate Sebastian Isaksson is recruited by the mysterious organisation London Institute of Cognitive Science in Russell Square, managed by the eccentric American Rudolph Corrigan. Here Sebastian becomes the guardian of a monkey with a moral compass, and here he is also assigned several patients, most noticeably a young mother named Laura Kadinsky who intrigues him in more than one way.

Meanwhile, his sister Clara travels to the remote Easter Island to interview a man who is waiting for the approaching apocalypse. Recently fired from her job, she is looking for a purpose and a sense of belonging, which she may well have found in doomsday prophet Jordan and his small group of dedicated followers.

Third sibling Matilda finds herself in rural northern Sweden with her boyfriend Billy and his daughter Siri. She has fallen out with Clara and desperately tries to reach out to her. There is also the fear that she may be pregnant and the colour blue begins to haunt her.

As if matters were not complicated enough the triplets receive distressing news from their mother that their father, her ex-husband, has gone missing and that he has left behind a twenty-five year old secret that will soon alter everything they ever knew, particularly for one of them.

Amanda Svensson’s fourth book is a quirky and maze-like novel about small, seemingly insignificant details that may just be pieces of a bigger picture. But more than anything it is a story about family, about misunderstandings, shortcomings and forgiveness. A System so Magnificent it is Blinding is a literary tour de force about the human mind and the human soul.




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There is such an enormous amount of energy and vitality in Amanda Svensson’s prose, an energy that is instantly recognisable from her previous books. There is not a single stale sentence, not a single dull repetition or artificial response. She seamlessly moves between the novel’s different moods and she can be insanely funny without losing any of the fundamental sincerity /… / With her wit and carefully composed plot Svensson has more in common with the Anglo-Saxon literary tradition, than the Swedish.
This is a classic family tale in a large format, which may recall both Thomas Mann and Zadie Smith, but it also has the intellectual mystery’s intricate and ambitious trait, a la Marisha Pessl or Donna Tartt. Svensson adds art and science, literature and politics into her brew, until she has achieved an entertaining bildungsroman that is far removed from the egocentric autofiction that is said to be dominating contemporary literature /… / Svensson carries out her almost perilously demanding literary project with a lightness that is impressive; she may be navigating an ocean vessel, but she does it as if she was surfing the waves.
I’m almost a bit giddy following a marathon reading session where I allowed the 540 pages to sweep over me, because A Magnificent System is, despite its size, a book that entices me to skip such trivialities as meals and toothbrushing. I want to be completely sure that I don’t miss anything /… / A Magnificent System is composed like a rich kind of symphony, with a diverse set of voices and places that together move from cacophony to harmony. This is a book that, to use the author’s own words, makes you feel alive.
… a verbose, kooky, surrealistic and simply wonderful novel with major existential questions.
Svenska Dagbladet

Amanda Svensson grew up in Malmö and currently lives in Cornwall, England. She has studied Creative Writing at Fridhems College and works as an arts journalist and translator. Hey Dolly was her much acclaimed debut in 2008, and her second novel Welcome to this World (2011) was shortlisted for the August Prize, as well as Dagens Nyheter's Literature Prize. 

A System so Magnificent it is Blinding (2019) is Amanda Svensson's fourth novel and has been awarded the Per Olov Enquist Literary Prize and Svenska Dagbladet's Literature Prize. It is also shortlisted for Tidningen Vi's Literature Prize. 

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