This joyful family saga about free will, forgiveness, and interconnection poses a question: are we free to create our own destinies or are we just part of a system beyond our control?

In October 1989, a set of triplets is born, and it is at this moment their father chooses to reveal his affair. Pandemonium ensues. 

Over two decades later, Sebastian is recruited to join a mysterious organisation, where he meets Laura Kadinsky, a patient whose inability to see the world in three dimensions is not the only intriguing thing about her. Meanwhile, Clara has travelled to Easter Island to join a doomsday cult, and the third triplet, Matilda, is in Sweden, trying to escape from the colour blue.  

Then, something happens that forces the triplets to reunite. Their mother calls with worrying news: their father has gone missing and she has something to tell them, a 25-year secret that will change all their lives. 

A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding was longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023, announced on March 14 2023.


The International Booker Prize 2023
Published by
Scribe UK
Publication date
Amanda Svensson

Amanda Svensson

About the Author

Amanda Svensson was born in 1987, and grew up in Malmö, Sweden. She started writing at a young age, and her first novel - Hey Dolly - was published in 2008.
More about Amanda Svensson
Nichola  Smalley

Nichola Smalley

About the Translator

Nichola Smalley is a translator of Swedish and Norwegian literature.
More about Nichola Smalley

Amanda Svensson’s raucous, sprawling debut takes on the enigmas of our origins, riddles of human consciousness and animal cognition, doomsday cults, and the most bedevilling of mysteries – the minds and choices of our closest intimates.

— The International Booker Prize 2023 panel of judges on 'A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding'

Other nominated books by Nichola Smalley