Solipsistic novels, a study of narcissism, a biography of a Michelin starred chef … here are some of the best, from Dostoevsky to Karl Ove Knausgaard
A level of self-absorption is a necessity for most writers. Every novel is ultimately about its author, and I like my non-fiction self-obsessed, too. Then there are the works that combine the two.
Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard specialises in semi-fictional self-obsession. A Death in the Family, translated by Don Bartlett, charts a period of his life centring around his alcoholic father’s death. Knausgaard has a spectacular gift for finding profundity in the mundane details of his existence. In other books, his fascination with himself can sometimes become too much, but the balance between intimate detail and story is pretty much perfect here.