Ragnhild Eskeland



The dog days of summer have begun. The air is dense and pores open up. The radio reports record temperatures. We meet Rebekka, Beate and Live, three girls in an unremarkable small town. They go on a trip to a cabin, planning to make tacos and drink some beers. They meet some older boys and the heat is unrelenting.

Keen is a book about landscape and love, about blossoming and identity. Rebekka is working through the memory of her recently deceased father, but her grief and the life she is in the process of putting behind her go hand in hand with her impatience for what is to come.

Eskeland writes about young people with gripping animation and is able to give life to both the long summers of youth and the quick pulse that accompanies teenage intimacy, brewing sexuality and social intrigue.

Eskeland keen

‘The realistic depictions of the friendship between Rebekka, Live and Beate, stand for me as one of the novel’s really great strengths. The dialogue in particular, which in all its simplicity is masterfully written, shows the complexity and nuances of a theme far too seldom taken seriously in literature: friendship between teenage girls (…) Eskeland writes very well, with an elegance and precision that pleases me.’

Eskeland, ragnhild photo tommy ellingsen
Photo: Tommy Ellingsen

Ragnhild Eskeland (b. 1986) trained in literary studies and writing at Gothenburg University and has also studied creative writing at the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer. She has a master’s degree in French literature from the University of Oslo. Her first novel, Insulated, was published in 2018.

In 2019, she was nominated for the prestigious Tarjei Vesaas Debutant prize, and the jury stated:
‘A powerful portrait of living with a cronical disease, through adolescence and as a young adult. The novel also explores, in an open and intellectual manner, the disgraceful aspects of a so-called lifestyle disease, which to a greater extent than many other disorders can be self-inflicted, and which imposes a kind of moral guiding on the patient’s way of life, entails an extra responsibility that can be a heavy burden. Insulated gives insight into a life situation that is more rarely illuminated in the literature, depicted with both great intellect and physicality.’