2020 Longlist

Children of God


Translated from the Norwegian by Guy Puzey

2020 Longlist

Lars Petter Sveen’s Children of God recounts the lives of people on the margins of the New Testament; thieves, Roman soldiers, prostitutes, lepers, healers, and the occasional disciple all get a chance to speak. In the opening story, a group of soldiers are tasked with carrying out King Herod’s edict to slaughter the young male children in Bethlehem but waver in their resolve. These interwoven stories harbor surprises at every turn, as the characters reappear. A group of thieves on the road to Jericho encounters no good Samaritan but themselves. A boy healed of his stutter will later regress. A woman searching for her lover from beyond the grave cannot find solace. At crucial moments an old blind man appears, urging the characters to give in to their darker impulses.

About the Author

Lars Petter Sveen was named one of Norway’s ten best authors under thirty-five by Morgenbladet, and has received Tarjei Vesaas’s Debutant Prize and the Per Olov Enquist Literary Prize. Children of God is his first book to be translated into English.

Librarian’s Comments

A daring and complex novel set in biblical times and spun off stories from the Bible. The novel explores ethical and existentialist themes and makes them relevant for the modern reader. Now. Deichman – Oslo Public Library, Norway

Children of God is a story that no one has read before, from a world we all know. We experience stories from the people around Jesus from when he was born and till his death. Sølvberget Library and Culture Centre, Norway


Petter Sveen


Graywolf Press
Nominating Library


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