The Diagnosis and Other Short Stories
“The world is very old, they say. But it seldom lasts more than a hundred years. We are the ones who grow old.”
With these words Gaarder sets the tone for the collection, which was his literary debut. The stories deal with ordinary people who have been uprooted from their daily lives and pushed to the brink. The stories touch on existential subjects, questions and ideas to which the author returns in subsequents novels.
The collection comprises eleven short stories. They are woven together by short, thought-provoking sketches.
This book may be regarded as a kind of overture to Gaarder’s subsequent writing, even though the stories have down-beat perspectives – in sharp contract to his later novels.