Gaute Heivoll

The King’s Heart

Kongens hjerte

A father and daughter are transported on a sailing boat. The girl is stricken with fever, and has sores around her neck and lower abdomen. With them are ten other sufferers. The year is 1775, and they are going to Copenhagen, to King Frederik’s Hospital, to be cured of the epidemic that has taken so many lives. But the crossing is not without danger, and the longer the voyage takes, the more the insanity increases among the patients. Meanwhile the father is witness to his daughter being slowly but surely consumed by the illness from inside. He has lost his wife and another child previously. He has only her left. Will she survive?

The King’s Heart is a compact, intense human drama, based on real historical events. From the pages emerges a pitch black world – an account of hell among the living – where death threatens at every turn. Yet the novel is shone through with the strongest emotion of all: love for a child. This is a masterly performance, a story written in almost hypnotic language, showing death and love in close proximity.

Bok 290
Forfatter 290
Photo: Paal Audestad

Gaute Heivoll is a prolific and varied author.
He has written novels, short stories, poems and children’s books. In 2010 he broke through with Før jeg brenner ned (Before I Burn), which won the Brage Prize the same year and was sold to eighteen countries. The King’s Heart is Heivoll’s fifth novel.

Før jeg brenner ned (Before I Burn), novel 2010
Himmelarkivet (The Heaven Archive), novel 2008
Doktor Gordeau og andre noveller (Doctor Gordeau and Other Stories), short stories, 2007
Kjærlighetsdikt på bunnen av elva (Love Poems at the River Bottom), poetry, 2006
Ungdomssangen (Song of Youth), novel 2005
Omars siste dager (Omar’s Last Days), novel 2004