Review: The Details by Ia Grenberg

Title: The Details

Author: Ia Genberg

Pages: 176 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

A famous broadcaster writes a forgotten love letter; a friend abruptly disappears; a lover leaves something unexpected behind; a traumatised woman is consumed by her own anxiety.

In the throes of a high fever, a woman lies bedridden. Suddenly, she is struck with an urge to revisit a particular novel from her past. Inside the book is an inscription: a message from an ex-girlfriend.

Pages from her past begin to flip, full of things she cannot forget and people who cannot be forgotten. Johanna, that same ex-girlfriend, now a famous TV host. Niki, the friend who disappeared all those years ago. Alejandro, who appears like a storm in precisely the right moment. And Birgitte, whose elusive qualities shield a painful secret.

Who is the real subject of a portrait, the person being painted or the one holding the brush? The Details is a novel built around four such portraits, unveiling the fragments of memory and experience that make up a life. In exhilarating, provocative prose, Ia Genberg reveals an intimate and powerful celebration of what it means to be human.

The Review

Whenever I read translated fiction I always marvel at just how different it is. Ia Grenberg’s The Details is a book full of poetic language and gorgeous reflective sentences but nothing actually happens. I’ve read books that do the same thing and found them extremely annoying but The Details was a one sitting read for me and I was intoxicated by this world that Grenberg had created in her interlinked stories.

I feel like this is one of those books that you can come back to at various points in your life and find something new that you had missed the first time round, where something that was maybe throw-away at one age suddenly becomes so important at another.

I think this book will get a reread in a few years time.

The Details by Ia Genberg is available now.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.