“Urgent, heart-breaking and life-affirming, this autobiographical novel about grief and parenting probes the boundaries between life and writing.”



Just finished In Every Moment We are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist, Translated from the Swedish by Henning Koch. Debut novel. A quick note here, Mr. Koch also translated A Man Called Ove.

This novel is about a man named Tom. Tom is a struggling writer, his father has been fighting a deadly cancer for the last 10 years, and Karin, the woman he has lived with for the last 10 years is pregnant. Just two months short of her delivery date, Karin becomes extremely ill with something that is quickly becoming worse and escalating in its seriousness.

The baby is born prematurely by Caesarian section and Karin continues to go downhill from there. The story revolves completely around this story line. It is told in flashback as we learn about Tom’ Family, about his relationship to Karin, and his becoming a father for the first time to their daughter Livia.

This is a very sad book. Their is a lot of grief here and it is told in detail. The writer totally captures the extreme tension that is occurring in Tom’s life, and we see many different parts of his personality which have been accentuated by the events in his life that he must deal with.

If you are feeling low right now, it might be best to put this book off for awhile. If not, I recommend it, mostly for it’s terrific rendering of what a man goes through when faced with a situation that he never expected to be in.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 20th April 2018

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Richard Franco