Author: Jon Fosse
Publisher: Batzer & Co
Release Date: 2010
Part one of a trilogy (the others are Olavs drømme and Kvældsvævd – those are the Danish titles ) that won Fosse The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize.
A dark and beautiful – and very Norwegian – version of the Nativity; a young couple going door to door in the cold and the rain looking for at place to stay. The girl is pregnant and no one will take them in. Their current desperation is mixed with memories of family, loss and music. The stark Norwegian landscape perfectly parallels the inner worlds of the couple; it’s beautiful but rough and potentially cruel. The story is short and simple but Fosse’s unique language, almost childlike in its repetitiveness, makes it a work of staggering beauty. No need to say anything else about it.
I don’t know if it’s been translated into English, I hope for you non-Nordics that it has. It’s a quick read but it will stay with you. 74 pages is really all it takes. Maybe now’s the time to learn Norwegian?