Encircling, by Carl Frode Tiller, translated from the Norwegian by Barbara J. Haveland (Graywolf). When David, a thirtysomething man living in a coastal city in Norway, develops amnesia, people from his past are asked to write letters describing who he is, or was. His estranged stepfather, who is dying, responds, as do two friends from David’s adolescence who once competed for his affection. Their missives—cruel, tender, perturbing—are sketches of life in the provincial town where Tiller grew up. What makes this novel, the first of a trilogy, extraordinary is the suspense: like the best mystery novels, it transforms the reader into an obsessive gumshoe—though, in this volume, at least, David’s identity is a question with no definitive answer.