Penguin Press UK will publish Osebol by journalist Marit Kapla.
Senior commissioning editor Donald Futers pre-empted world English rights in a deal with literary agents Paul Sebes and Erik Larsson, who previously sold the book to Aschehoug in Norway and to Atlas-Contact in the Netherlands. The "contemporary masterpiece" won the 2019 August Prize.
"Osebol is a book of oral history by the journalist Marit Kapla, who grew up in Osebol. She has interviewed almost all of the approximately 40 grown inhabitants – between the ages of 18 and 92 – who live in the village today," reads the synopsis. "Their stories convey a multi-faceted account of everyday life in a small village, from reflections on the past and present to thoughts of the future. The villagers’ griefs, joys and moments of humour paint a detailed and deeply personal picture of ordinary lives lived against the backdrop of Swedish and global contemporary history."
Futers said: "In this transporting book, Marit Kapla has created something remarkable. The promise of its 800 pages – each home to only a handful of lines of text – allows us, in a strangely comforting way, to relax into its rhythms of simple language and white space, and to lose ourselves in the lives and voices of a close-knit, welcoming community, making its way in a changing world. The result is luminous, illuminating, almost meditative – somewhere between Svetlana Alexievich and Claudia Rankine. We are thrilled to be able to bring this poetic, documentary work to Anglophone audiences."