By Elisabeth Åsbrink

Abandonment is an autobiographical novel about a family, about three women and three cities. The narrator is a writer determined to define, once and for all, the desolate shadow that has followed her throughout her life, and which she mistook for normality. In the portrayal of Rita, Sally and Katherine, she traces how secrets, lies and taboos pass from one generation to the next. It is a captivating story of love, emigration and humanity in the shadow of hatred. And, as the narrator points out: “This is fiction and therefore all that is told is true.”

First published by Polaris, May 2021

Albania, Dituria
Denmark, Gutkind
Germany, BTB
Italy, Iperborea
Lithuania, Balto
Norway,  Aschehoug
Poland, Wielka Litera Sp.z o,o.
Russia, Phantom Press
Sweden, Polaris 

“This captivating and important debut novel reveals the hurting points in a family history (…) A sharp gaze for all the sediments accumulated in language, as well as for the small steps and  the larger changes.”
Benedicte Gui De Thurah Huang, Weekendavisen

“Very well told…The depiction of the mother as the threatening and always unpredictable ‘mother-cloud’, seen from little Kathrine’s perspective, is delivered with great sensitivity. It is also horrendous.”
Thomas Thurah, Information

”In this deep and powerful novel, Elisabeth Åsbrink writes beautifully and poetically about the lonesome history of her family.”
Anne Grete Jacobsen, Litteratursiden

A powerful and well written novel about a family that tells the story of three women in the 20th century. A compelling story about how these women – and we all – are affected by our upbringing and the conditions we are given.
Pernille Lisborg, Kulturen.nu

“Elisabeth Åsbrink is one of the rare authors who reaches such literary heights that they immediately feel too big for their market. Her new novel Abandonment emphatically possesses this quality: here we are dealing with a book that immediately joins the great literary tradition that hosts such diverse predecessors as Primo Levi and Isaac Bashevis Singer. […] I am happy to admit that I am completely enamored with this brilliant novel. Abandonment is a great novel, a work with lasting luminosity. To have read it is to feel enriched and elated.”

“..a very rich, erudite and moving book. Elisabeth Åsbrink’s strength has always been to find the particular in the whole. The little detail that makes us really perceive history as it was.”
Dagens Nyheter

“The story follows “K” as she gathers the memories of her Jewish family into a powerful and enlightening narrative of love and hate, pride and humiliation as well as homecoming and constant flight. […] There is a strong author presence in the depiction. A presence that can only be achieved by a person who has contemplated something very seriously for a very long time something, a person for whom the words uttered are a matter of life and death.”

“Abandonment is a novel that captivates and lingers. In part because when Åsbrink strikes the right note, she does it all but virtuosically, in part because there is a force in this book that seems unstoppable […] She searches for memories, for traces of her history, while the grief and anger over the buried, demolished and destroyed throbs in her. Here, the novel is permeated by frenzy, by equal parts breathtaking beauty and unyielding irreconcilability.”

“Through the veins of the author and her poetic prose flows a violent story about people who have been categorized and ranked based on blood relations. She connects her own sense of abandonment to ancestors who were expelled and hunted since before the Spanish Inquisition.”

“Abandonment is a rich novel, educational and with a strong political pathos. And despite its heavy subject matter, at times surprisingly funny. […] Abandonment does its part to combat historical ignorance. As an eager combatant, it places itself at the center of public debate as new anti-Semitic winds gather across Europe.”

“Elisabeth Åsbrink has written an intense family story about the necessity to hide ones Jewish origins (…) To acknowledge what the book’s title most deeply entails, she reminds us that abandonment has a synonym – Jew. The word that has branded her family.”
Dagbladet (5 starred review)

“We cannot allow the memory of the fate of the Jews in Europe to be erased from our common recollection. Abandonment succeeds in being a cure for any form of history revisionism.”
Vårt land

Åsbrink makes a solid debut as a novelist with Abandonment.”
Stavanger Aftenblad (5 starred review)