Winner of the Critics’ Award 2012
Ellinor is a communications consultant in her thirties. She can’t help but feel that her life is lacking meaningful intensity, that her life is a trivial contrast to her feelings of despair.
When a colleague suddenly leaves the firm Ellinor has to see through a project all by herself. By teaching postal workers in Postkom about media, influence and politics, Ellinor is supposed to better equip them in their opposition to the implementation of EU’s Postal Legislation. However, the question arises; who is teaching whom?
‘If you are looking for a novel about loneliness and the postal service, chose this one. ... It is practically impossible to decide where to begin when discussing Hjorth’s novels. They are immediate, but also stay with you, kicking around in your mind for a good while afterwards. This time, the story even manages to combine politics, the postal service and a lonely young woman. Can this really be of interest? Yes, it can, when Hjorth does it.’
... a fantastic book. There are few contemporary writers who explore loneliness with greater courage. Hurrah for Hjorth!
I’ve rarely experienced such high from a novel as from Vigdis Hjorth’s new work about the European Union’s postal directive. ... One of her very best books. ... I’m almost tempted to shout Long live Vigdis Hjorth!
Vigdis Hjorth's Leve posthornet! deserves applause for many things, not least for being something as improbable as a successful political novel about (hold tight now!) the postal directive. ... In every way, a very worthwhile novel by Vigdis Hjorth.
Few writers can describe a woman near the edge as Hjorth can. ... It is almost the most engaging element in this book. And perhaps also the most original. Hjorth foregrounds politics, not the international kind, but the grey local authority dealings – and shows us its crucial role in our lives. This, in a novel whose apparently most straightforward formulations contain within them an ambiguity and depth that is uniquely Hjorth’s.
Hidden inside the novel lies a small pearl of a story about a letter that only arrived at its destination because the postman truly committed himself to find the proper addressee. This makes Leve posthornet! into more than the narrative about a communication advisor and the postal directive. It also follows that Hjorth’s novel is not primarily about atomised contemporary individuals or nostalgia for letters written by hand, but about communication. If you decide to read one novel about the postal directive this year, it should be this one.
An impressive journey of purification. ... In Leve posthornet! , Vigdis Hjorth immerses herself in existential seriousness. Her book is a loud scream; Hjorth has written a powerful novel about identity, authenticity and about making courageous choices ... her perceptions are acute and she writes very well.
... when Hjorth takes on the problematic issues of politics and of life in general, with her familiar wit and existential courage, all you can do is give in.
DAG OG TID
It is great feat to write something as rare as a political and personal novel without creating something that is both dull and too internalised. As always, she composes brilliantly precise sentences, with her utterly unique fingertip feel for flow and choice of words.
A rare, realistic, not-post-modern box of candies: a story about politics, poetry and melancholy.
Quirky, unsettling.The ordinary becomes vibrant and life-affirming in Long Live the Post Horn!, an engrossing novel about how even hopeless battles are worth fighting.
Hjorth’s substantive and witty novel of personal growth delivers on multiple levels.
An emotional, philosophical read … this book is wonderful, and I would urge you to seek it out.
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.
John Freeman, LIT HUB (Most Anticipated Books of 2020)
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
An engaging, well-honed novel … Hjorth’s writing is both spare and, in an understated way, humorous.
A wry and thoughtful take on contemporary life and love … Full of gorgeous Scandi gloom and bleak truths about human relationships.
[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.
An acidic portrait of one woman’s fight to save the postal service.
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, translator of Long Live the Port Horn! in LITERARY HUB
Hjorth expertly interrogates feelings of inadequacy in concise paragraphs of wry prose.
Droll and rather delightful.
A novel about the chicanery of governmental politics has no right to be this absorbing.
A big strange wonderful paper hug of a book … I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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.
LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOK
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