Reads For The Road: Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


This novel by Swedish writer Lena Andersson is a whirlwind of intense and all-to-real emotions. Though I am not usually a fan of novels, this book — translated from Swedish — jumped out at me (literally, it fell off the bookshelf as I walked by) when I walked into a bookstore while travelling in Sweden this past summer. 

I decided to give it a go, and found that I couldn't put it down. Funny, raw and completely engrossing, the story follows Ester, a rational intellectual from Stolkholm, who completely (and irrationally) falls for Hugo, a man who, it turns out, is a complete asshole (not that she would ever admit that). 

Hugo never followed up with anything Ester said. Ester always followed up with what Hugo said. Neither of them were really interested in her. But they were both interested in him.
Ester made a mental note of his lack of curiosity and generosity, but did not let it influence the reverence she felt.
— from page 33 of "Wilful Disregard" by Lena Andersson

What results is an incredibly well-written, intimate look at what it is like to completely overthink every look, touch, word, and text in this modern and confusing age of dating, sex, and intimacy. Raw, hilarious at times, and way too relatable, Wilful Disregard is a book I (and you if you decide to read it) will never forget. 

It's small size and short chapters makes this is the perfect book to have for trips on the train, metro, or to polish off on a flight.