Book cover for Wilful Disregard

Wilful Disregard



28 January 2016
208 pages
Imprint: Picador


Alas, most women have lived this story. Though few will have told it so well. Compelling and keenly observant.
I never thought a book about anxious Swedish intellectuals engaged in a philosophical back and forth would grip me like an airport read, but here we are. From the first page I was deep in the headspace of our protagonist, Esther, a woman willing to destroy her life for a man who barely acknowledges her.
Lena Andersson's Wilful Disregard is a story of the heart written with bracing intellectual rigor. It is a stunner, pure and simple.
Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson describes a female writer’s new friendship with and eventual fixation on an older and more successful male artist. Hugo and Ester have an intense intellectual connection, which makes her feel like she’s in love with him and makes him feel, well, like they have an intense intellectual connection (though he’s willing to dabble in sex with her). Like Rachel Cusk’s Outline, Wilful Disregard is lacerating in its intelligence and honesty; it makes you waver between loathing and compassion for basically all humans.