Long Live the Post Horn! (Paperback)

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Long Live the Post Horn! By Vigdis Hjorth, Charlotte Barslund (Translated by) Cover Image
By Vigdis Hjorth, Charlotte Barslund (Translated by)
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Staff Reviews

Long live the post horn, indeed! This is the story of the political and personal awakening of a lonely Norwegian PR worker revitalized from existential malaise. Spurred by the mystery of a missing colleague and the romance of an undelivered letter, Hjorth's manic stream of consciousness takes us along a riveting 6 months as our narrator is drawn into the drama (yes, drama!) of Norwegian union responses to the EU postal directive.

- Catherine

— From Long Live the Post Horn! (Staff Pick)


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.

Praise For…

"The ordinary becomes vibrant and life-affirming in Long Live the Post Horn!, an engrossing novel about how evenhopeless battles are worth fighting."
—Eileen Gonzalez, Foreword Reviews

"Quirky, unsettling."
Kirkus Reviews

"Hjorth’s substantive and witty novel of personal growth delivers on multiple levels."
Publishers Weekly

"An emotional, philosophical read...this book is wonderful, and I would urge you to seek it out."
—Elspells Books

"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”), John Freeman

"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."
—John Freeman, New York Times Book Review

"A wry and thoughtful take on contemporary life and love ... Full of gorgeous Scandi gloom and bleak truths about human relationships"
Daily Mail

"[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, The New Republic

"An engaging, well-honed novel ... Hjorth's writing is both spare and, in an understated way, humorous."
—R.P. Finch, PopMatters

"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"
New Statesman

"Droll and rather delightful"

"A novel about the chicanery of governmental politics has no right to be this absorbing"
Morning Star

"A big strange wonderful paper hug of a book ... I cannot recommend it highly enough"
—The Literary Addict

"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

"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 Magazine

"Slim but fulfilling ... Hjorth’s brisk, spare prose invigorates Long Live the Post Horn!, making it a captivating read."
—Robert Allen Papinchak, World Literature Today

"Luminous ... Lucidly translated by Charlotte Barslund, this slight novel – a chapterless stream of consciousness interrupted by dialogue – can be read in a single sitting."
—Chloë Ashby, Times Literary Supplement

"Gripping, inspiring, and politically revolutionary"
—Alexandra Kleeman, Vanity Fair

"Long Live the Post Horn! is an ordinary person’s epic tale of how it feels to emerge from the thralldom of apathy: how one feeble movement unleashes the torrential energy of life renewed."
—Ingrid D. Rowland, New York Review of Books

"Made me want to storm the barricades of Royal Mail"
—Rebecca Liu, White Review

"A strange and funny and psychologically incisive novel about how community can revitalise, how grassroots activism and empathy are the salves in a world made lonely and malignant by individualism"
—Susannah Dickey, Big Issue

"Long Live the Post Horn! is a reaffirming novel that reminds one of how sliding into depression is so seamless it barely registers as motion of any kind."
—Utkarsh Mani Tripathi, Vogue India

Product Details
ISBN: 9781788733137
ISBN-10: 1788733134
Publisher: Verso Fiction
Publication Date: September 15th, 2020
Pages: 208
Language: English