cover image Everything I Don’t Remember

Everything I Don’t Remember

Jonas Hassen Khemiri, trans. from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. Atria, $25 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5011-3802-7

Khemiri (Montecore) won Sweden’s most prestigious literary honor, the August Prize, for this compelling novel about Samuel, who was born in Sweden but is of North African descent, and whose last day alive is reconstructed by an unnamed narrator who wants to write about the young man for his own introspective purposes. Was Samuel’s death in a car crash an accident, suicide, or murder? Through tantalizing fragments, the reader learns of the dead man’s various relationships: with Laide, the woman he was dating, who wanted to provide a safe house for abused Muslim women; with Vandad, Samuel’s roommate, with whom he had a falling out; and with Samuel’s grandmother, who allowed Laide’s abused women to live in her house, until somebody burned it down. In this painful novel about youthful optimism gone hopelessly wrong, Khemiri dramatizes such immigration-related issues as failures in elder care, unemployment and dead-end jobs, drug abuse, and racial prejudice. Agent: Astri von Arbin Ahlander, Ahlander Agency (Sweden). (July)