Children of God

Lars Petter Sveen

Winner of the 2016 P.O. Enquist Award

Children of God is a story of good and evil, seen through the eyes of biblical, historical and mythical figures that reflect our time as much as their own.

A highly contemporary novel that opens in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth, following one of the soldiers excecuting King Herod’s command to kill all boys under the age of two. We later meet postitutes and gangs of robbers, prophets and disciples, young children and lepers – all caught between powers of good and evil. Their stories form a web where the fantastic and terrifying, great and small go hand in hand. Officer Cato doubts whether he can live with his actions. Jacob’s father is afraid that his son is touched by evil because he stammers. Anna is looking for the man she once loved.

Lars Petter Sveen has written a deeply original novel. These are stories unlike anything you have read before, from a setting everyone knows.


From the reviews:

Children of God is in every way a well-deserved break through for a young author-whose work is mature, original and bold.

– From the PO Enquist Jury Statement


A masterpiece. Lars Petter Sveen’s third novel is a rare piece of art.

– Klassekampen


Children of God must be this year’s best novel. (…) Tradition meets a rare literary talent (…) By thinking over and sensing the words and ideas from the Bible as they were new and unknown, Sveens own language is challenged and enrichened, and the result is a visionary novel without a single bad sentence.  

– Aftenposten


This book establishes Sveen as one of Norway’s leading authors, and in more than one respect, shows his international appeal.

– Adresseavisen, six out of six stars


Lars Petter Sveen’s originality and level of ambition is eminent. Children of God demands that the reader thinks, reflects and looks, and looks again, from a different perspective. It challenges both it’s characters and it’s readers with questions about good and evil, and the importance of each individual’s moral and ethical choices, making it a important novel. (…) Set in the time of Christ, where the devil may turn out to be the most human character of all, in a language refusing pathos, insisting on its literariness, it demonstrates that no sucbject is too large for literature.



A major literary achievement (…) Convincing and emotionally strong because it so strongly reflects our time.

A rare book in contemporary literature. The reinvention of the biblical stories are extremelly well thought-out and so smart and beautifully excecuted.


Brave and beautiful are two of the words to best describe Children of God. (…) Whatever this book is, is left to the reader to figure out. But it grabs hold of you, and refuses to let go. 
Vårt Land


Lars Petter Sveen has re-written some of the biblical stories. The result is sensational (…) most of all, this is art of it’s highest quality. Children of God is a fantastic novel.  



Rights sold to

  • Language Foreign publisher
  • American EnglishGraywolf
  • BulgarianPerseus Publishing House
  • Chinese (simplified)China International Radio Press
  • DanishGyldendal
  • FrenchActes Sud
  • SwedishNorstedts

Contact agent

Additional info

  • Guds Barn
  • 2014
  • Aschehoug Forlag
  • Fiction, Novel
  • 240 pages