The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am

The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am

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By Kjersti A. Skomsvold

Translated by Kerri A. Pierce

ISBN: 9781564787026

Publication Date: 10/25/2005

Mathea Martinsen has never been good at dealing with other people. After a lifetime, her only real accomplishment is her longevity: everyone she reads about in the obituaries has died younger than she is now. Afraid that her life will be over before anyone knows that she lived, Mathea digs out her old wedding dress, bakes some sweet cakes, and heads out into the world—to make her mark. She buries a time capsule out in the yard. (It gets dug up to make room for a flagpole.) She wears her late husband's watch and hopes people will ask her for the time. (They never do.) Is it really possible for a woman to disappear so completely that the world won't notice her passing? The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am is a macabre twist on the notion that life "must be lived to the fullest."


"Original and moving, Kjersti A. Skomsvold portrays with absurd insight the horrible and fascinating aspects of nearing death . . . Skomsvold has created a character adorably absurd in her language, thoughts, and actions." Dagbladet

"A wonderful literary debut!"NRK

"A gloomy feel-good novel about the irreparable loneliness of being human. A tragicomedy of rare quality." —Stig Sæterbakken

Biographical Information

Kjersti A. Skomsvold was born in 1979 in Oslo. The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am, her first novel, was the winner of the Tarjei Vesaas First Book Prize in 2009 and was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. In 2015, she was awarded the Dobloug Prize by the Swedish Academy.

Kerri A. Pierce is a writer and translator living in Pittsford, New York. Her translations have appeared in the New Yorker and World Literature Today, and have been finalists for the PEN Translation Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award.