Meet Brynjulf Jung Tjønn - Selected Title Author

We are happy to present our selected title author Brynjulf Jung Tjønn. He has written White, Norwegian Man (original title: Kvit, norsk mann). The book is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles of the spring 2023.

Read our interview with Brynjulf here.

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Brynjulf Jung Tjønn. Photo: Adrian Nielsen/NORLA

What is the book about?

White, Norwegian Man is an honest and personal book that contains a number of examples of the invisible racism many adoptees can experience. I myself was adopted from South Korea and grew up in the most Norwegian way possible: first in line to inherit the family farm in a tiny village in western Norway. But even though I grew up in a white, Norwegian family and feel 100% Norwegian, I still experience racism.

Being an adopted child, I have always felt like I’m second string, a recycled child who can never be Norwegian enough. I’m constantly being spoken to in English and people are always asking me where I’m actually from.

That’s why I’ve always wanted to look like everyone else in Norway. Like a white, Norwegian man. Wouldn’t everything be better then?

What inspired you to write this book?

In Norway, three Norwegian children have lost their lives because they had the wrong skin color. In 1999, Arve Beheim Karlsen, adopted from India, was chased into a river because he was dark-skinned. He was found dead three days later. In 2001, Benjamin Hermansen was stabbed because he was dark-skinned. And in 2019, Johanne Ihle-Hansen was murdered by her own stepbrother because she had the wrong ethnicity; she was adopted from China. These deaths made a deep impression on me. When the Corona pandemic broke out in 2020, many people with an Asian appearance around the world experienced increased racism and bullying. I did in Norway as well. These deaths and the #stopasianhate campaign have made me reflect on everything I myself have experienced as an adoptee in Norway.

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Photo: Adrian Nielsen/NORLA

Read more

See full presentation of the book here

Read more about the author here

See all NORLA’s Selected Titles for the spring 2023 here