Negotiating with Reality (Innbundet)

Ett år på ett hjul


Erlend Loe

Norwegian title: Forhandle med virkeligheten
Norwegian subtitle: Ett år på ett hjul
Binding: Innbundet
Year: 2020
Pages: 200
Publisher: Cappelen Damm
Språk: Bokmål
ISBN/EAN: 9788202678845
Overview Forhandle med virkeligheten

“At first, I travelled on four wheels. Then three. Then, for a long time, two. Now: one.

A reduction is under way.

In the end, in some years’ time – nobody knows how many – I’ll have no wheels. And will return to the earth I’ve loved cycling on.

I never would have believed I could do it, but now I fly low across the landscape. My eyes are 220cm above the earth and the trees whizz by. The path beneath me is soft, everything is soft, even if, now and then, it is also stony and uneven. Sometimes it is wet and slippery. Regardless, I must be fully in control, from second to second. An elevation there, a stone, a root, a puddle that may be deeper than it appears to me. I could fall at any moment. But I don’t fall. Because I can fly. But now and then I do fall all the same. Or jump off to avoid falling.”

For much of his life, Erlend Loe has cycled. A year ago, he decided to try out a unicycle and was instantly converted.

What persuades an almost two-metre tall fifty-year-old who claims not to like standing out from the crowd to cycle through the city on a unicycle? What is so attractive about that? There must be more practical means of transport?

With enthusiasm and sharp observational skill, Erlend Loe takes us on a unicycle odyssey over the course of a year – full of free association and playfulness, but always in balance, always leaning forward, always conducting negotiations with reality. And by negotiating with reality, he puts it into words in new and unexpected ways.

A riveting personal essay in the vein of On Being John McEnroe and Murakami’s What I Talk about When I Talk about Running.

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Author Erlend Loe

Erlend Loe was born in 1969 in Trondheim, Norway. He studied folklore, film studies, and literature before becoming one of the most beloved and popular authors in Norway. He made his debut with the novel Captured by the Woman (Tatt av kvinnen) in 1993, a novel he received raving reviews for. In 1996 came Naiv. Super, his big break through in Norway as well as abroad, and has been called the novel of his generation. His novel Doppler, which came out in 2004, has been critically acclaimed for it´s depiction of the modern man, and The Guardian named it Book of the year. He is a productive author, and publishes books both for adults and children. His books about Kurt have been a huge success, and has also been turned into an animated film.
Erlend Loes books have been published in thirty-nine countries so far.

He lives in Oslo with his wife and three sons, and enjoy biking.


  • Ministry of Cultural Affairs Prize for The Big Red Dog (Den store røde hunden), children's picture book, 1996. Illustrated by Kim Hiorthøy.
  • The Cappelen Award 1997
  • The Critics' Prize for Kurt Quo Vadis?, illustrated children’s novel, 1998 children’s book.
  • The Booksellers' Prize 1999 for L (L).
  • The Aschehoug Prize 2003
  • The French Prix Européen des Jeunes Lecteurs 2006 for Naïve.Super. (Naiv.Super).
  • The French Tam-tam Prize for The Fish (Fisken) 2006, children’s book.
  • De Grote Jongerenliteratuur Prijs (The Netherlands) 2010 for Muleum.

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Foreign rights