Selma Lønning Aarø

Right to Privacy

Privatlivets fred

An author wakes up in hospital. Something dramatic has happened – she just can’t quite remember what. What she can recall, however, is what happened before.

When the author moves to Fredrikstad from Oslo with her family, she finds new friends, a new life and what she hopes will be the starting-point for a new novel. Her new girlfriend X has given her permission to write whatever she wants about what they describe as a major issue that has marked X’s life. It looks set to be the author’s best novel ever, but X gradually becomes increasingly unstable and intimidating, and the author realises that her entire writing project is in jeopardy. The same goes for her artistic freedom, her finances, her relationship to her publisher and colleagues – not to mention the relationships in her own family. What can an author allow herself, and who really owns a story?

Selma Lønning Aarø’s new novel is funny, sometimes frightening and unusually topical. A continuation of a strong feminist tradition, it also comments on the debate about reality literature.

Aarø privatlivets fred 9788202721213

“With Right to Privacy, Selma Lønning Aarø has written a strong and multi-layered novel that questions the notions of “autofiction”, the relation of the author with her creation and the ethical responsibility of the writer. She writes about very serious issues without taking herself too seriously. Set in the Norway of today, Right to Privacy is witty, entertaining, funny, sarcastic and clever.”

Alain Gnaedig, Editor Gallimard (France)
Aarø, selma lønning photo agnete brun
Photo: Agnete Brun

Selma Lønning Aarø (b. 1972) made her debut in 1995 with The Final story (Den endelige historien), a novel that won her the Cappelen Damm Prize for best debut. Aarø has since written a number books within different genres, both adult and children’s fiction, and she is well known for her self ironic and dark sense of humour. Aarø has also been a newspaper columnist for Dagbladet and Klassekampen for a number of years.

Her big breakthrough in Norway came with the novel Do you want another ride? (Vil ni åka mera?) in 2003, a novel that brought her a nomination for the Brage Prize. Her novel I´m coming (Jeg kommer snart) (2013) has been published in Canada, Germany, Spain and Turkey.

In the novel Her Lying Face (Hennes løgnaktige ytre, 2016), Aarø explored the life of writer Anna Munch and her troublesome obsession for Knut Hamsun.