Everything changes when Ina, Evelyn, and Anastasia move to Jonas’ neighborhood. The legendary sisters speak English with each other, even though they were born in Sweden. Ina is fantastic at basketball, Evelyn can tell captivating stories, and Anastasia is skilled at puncturing annoying men’s polo shirts with her butterfly knife. Gradually, Jonas realizes that the three sisters are connected to his family, especially to his father’s past.
Over the next thirty years, Jonas’ life intertwines with the sisters, through New Year’s parties and fighter jet crashes, language courses and life crises, love stories and friend losses. But most of all, they are connected by the strange feeling that their lives are governed by a curse – that everything you love, you will lose – a curse said to originate in another country, in another time.
The Sisters is an epic family saga spanning several continents. It is an irresistible novel about alienation and escape, about the passage of time, but above all, about our dreams and their inevitable collision with reality.
”Twenty years have passed since Khemiri wrote One Eye Red, and we have yet to fully grasp his influence on contemporary Swedish fiction. Every new book is something of an event, while also staking out a new course [—] a great novel, swinging, generous.”
– Dagens Nyheter
”I am blown away by the craft and precision in the novel. [–] The Sisters is a masterly attempt to fully comprehend life”.
“Khemiri’s language flows through me in a way that is reminiscent of José Saramago – the sentences are long, and the mise-en-scene is effortless as if I was simply listening to somebody talking to me – a literary form that in reality demands the same precision as poetry in order to work.”
”A pleasure to read. [—] I’m so immersed in the novel that I miss my stop in the Underground, scatter food on the pages while reading during my lunch break.”
”A magnificent read. It is a loving testament to the endless possibilities of the novel, and to the essential role of writing in the lifelong pursuit of finding oneself.”
”Simply a joy to read.”
– Gefle Dagblad
”The Sisters is a clever, amusing novel from one of our best contemporary writers.”
– Borås tidning
”The language is so pleasurable – this book is sharp, sad, and deeply entertaining.”
– SR Kulturnytt
”He cuts elegantly between different eras, places, people – and makes it all part of something grander. Glorious.”
Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s shape-shifting, sly, and beautifully written novel The Family Clause is a devastating and brutally honest portrait of a modern family struggling, across generations, to stand together. The novel moves seamlessly across borders, across perspectives with a piercing gaze into the heartbreaking and often comedic gestures that define us as individuals, as members of a family.
THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2020, judges citation