Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Book Giveaway: The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

Other Press has generously offered to send two copies of Swedish author Ninni Holmqvist's The Unit to readers of Literary License. The Unit, Holmqvist's first novel (translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy), is described in a Washington Post review as "a haunting, deadpan tale."

Book description: One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixty–single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries–are sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders. In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: well-housed, well-fed, and well-attended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, and…well, then what? The Unit is a gripping exploration of a society in the throes of an experiment, in which the “dispensable” ones are convinced under gentle coercion of the importance of sacrificing for the “necessary” ones. Ninni Holmqvist has created a debut novel of humor, sorrow, and rage about love, the close bonds of friendship, and about a cynical, utilitarian way of thinking disguised as care.

If this sounds interesting to you, please e-mail me (litlicense AT gmail DOT com) with your name and address by this Friday, July 17th. I'll select two winners at random from the qualifying entrants. Sorry, but the quagmire that is international publishing rights limits this giveaway to those living in the U.S. Good luck!

(I'm just about finished with this novel and I can't put it down. It's a quick and disturbing read. Look for my review here at Literary License sometime later this month.)
Edited to note this giveaway has concluded. Thanks to everyone who participated!

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

I just finished reading this & it's absolutely wonderful. I've been pushing it on everyone I know.

Tina said...

Congratulations!You've just been awarded the Literary Blogger Award. A really easy choice for me.

Miranda said...

Looks like a great read

salsez said...

I read this a couple of weeks ago. Fascinating, creepy. And if this were reality, I would have been sent there last year!
But, I did like it a lot. I think it might be on my recommended shelf.
Along with Heroic Measures. My current favorite)

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