Love – New Norwegian Novel


The novel Love by Norwegian author Hanna Ørstavik was voted the 6th best Norwegian book of the last 25 years

140716-love-kjærlighet-book-cover-hanne-orstavikThe publishing rights in English have now been sold to Archipelago Books. Love is the story about Vibeke and Jon, mother and son, who have just moved to a small place in the north of Norway. It’s the day before Jon’s birthday, and a travelling carnival has come to the village.

Jon goes out to sell lottery tickets for his sports club, and Vibeke is going to the library. From here on we follow the two individuals on their separate journeys through a cold winter’s night – while a sense of uneasiness grows.

Love illustrates how language builds its own reality, and thus how mother and son can live in completely separate worlds. This distance is found not only between human beings, but also within each individual. This novel shows how such distance may have fatal consequences.

“Hanne Ørstavik pulls the reader along until the very end, leading us astray, and tricking us to imagine the continuation of events, before she takes the story in a different, though not more comforting direction,” wrote La Croix.

Hanne Ørstavik was born 28 November 1969 in Tana in Finnmark province in the far north of Norway, and moved to Oslo at the age of 16. With the publication of the novel Hakk (Cut) in 1994, Ørstavik embarked on a career that would make her one of the most remarkable and admired authors in Norwegian contemporary literature.

Her literary breakthrough came three years later with the publication of Kjærlighet (Love), which in 2006 was voted the 6th best Norwegian book of the last 25 years in a prestigious contest in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. Since then she has written several acclaimed and much discussed novels and received a host of literary prizes.

The Pastor, French issue
The Pastor, French issue

In 2002, she was awarded the Dobloug Prize for her literary works, and in 2004, the Brage Prize for the novel Presten (The Pastor).

Amour, French version
Amour, French version

Ørstavik’s books have been translated into 15 languages.

Love – New Norwegian Novel, source: Aschehoug Agency