Eivind Hofstad Evjemo
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How to grieve, and to go on living in the shadow of an even greater grief?
In Eivind Hofstad Evjemo’s new novel we meet a married couple, Arild and Sella, who are trying, each in their own way, to come to terms with the loss of their son Kim, whom they adopted from the Philippines. We follow Sella in particular, who feels that she and Kim were not as close as they might have been, and goes back over her memories in search of some explanation of why he left them.
We learn that Kim died as a result of a ferry capsizing while in the Philippines, where perhaps he had been hoping to track down his biological mother. The accident happened over ten years ago, but the terrorist attack on the government buildings in Oslo and on Utøya of July 22nd, 2011 brings their own tragedy back to them, and to Sella in particular. A couple living in the same neighbourhood lost a daughter on Utøya, and Sella becomes almost obsessed with the thought of how this couple manage to articulate their loss, create new perspectives for their lives, and come to terms with something so unspeakable. She plans to bake something for them, because that’s the kind of thing people do. But over and over again she abandons the idea and instead she observes them as closely as she can.
‘One seldom encounters such accomplished writing. Every sentence vibrates with aesthetic delight and existential solemnity.’Bergens Tidende
‘Evjemo’s writing is brilliant, unpretentious, precise and nuanced. (…) It’s real. It’s important. And it is penned by an author who would appear to be one of the best that Norwegian contemporary literature has to offer.’Adresseavisen