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The struggles of Karl Ove Knausgaard—and those of his readers—are finally over

Knausgaard's six volume saga breaks taboos right up to the last. What comes next is another question

Knausgaard's project has been an object lesson in exorcising shame. Photo: © PAULINE KEIGHTLEY / ALAMY STOCK PHOT

Novelists on both sides of the Atlantic spent the 2000s striving to meet the clamour for them to deal with the 9/11 attacks and their fallout. After the spectacle of John Updike and Martin Amis purporting to tell us how suicide bombers think, it wasn’t surprising that the old advice to “write what you know”—however prosaic—once more began to seem a likelier spur to literary creativity than, say, speed-reading Sayyid Qutb. When Jonathan Franzen let slip that…

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