Meet Sigri Sandberg - Selected Title Author

We are happy to present our selected title author Sigri Sandberg. She has written The Fjord – A Long Row Home (original title: Ro – om Sognefjorden og ein lang rotur heim).
The book is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles of the autumn 2022.

Read our short interview with Sigri here.

Sigri Sandberg. Photo: Fartein Rudjord/NORLA

What is the book about?

The Fjord – A Long Row Home is a long row in an old wooden boat. I row from where I once lived to where I sometimes currently live, 226 kilometers into the world’s longest navigable fjord, Sognefjorden. And I row slowly. “Fjord” is one of the few Norwegian words that can be found in languages all over the world; it comes from Old Norse and means “a place where you journey”. I have myself moved and traveled so much in my life, I needed to land somewhere. Could I call an apple orchard in the fjord for home?
In the book, I ask why it is so important for people to have a home, to belong somewhere, to come from somewhere. I write about wind and currents, landscapes and animal life, about how the fjord was formed — and about the time the fjord was a highway. And about nature as a framework for our entire existence.

Down different stretches, I row with my husband, my friends and my mother. We are met by high waves and drama, but also still fjord water, song, and skinny dipping.

This book is simply an ovation to a long fjord — and to an attempt to find home.

What inspired you to write this book?

There was a lot of unrest, illness and sorrow, both in the world and in our community. The pandemic trapped me in the city. I longed for nature, longed for where I lived as a child, for the sea — and for the apple orchard at the foot of the fjord. Longed for rocking in the waves, getting wind and saltwater in my face and blisters on my hands — and to take some good strokes with my husband. We had each our set of baggage, each our kids, and I longed to sit in the same boat, and be in it as a team.

I simply felt this indecent need to row, and to get acquainted with life above and beneath the water in this fjord. What people and vehicles traveled here before? And why was there so little fish? My writing is a way of questioning, and a method for understanding the world, nature, how everything is connected.

So yes, I suppose it was the fjord itself that inspired me? Or my mother’s old wooden boat? It could be that it was the past, the present, the waves of questions — and the attempt to find answers — that inspired me? Or was it my husband? This desire to sit on the thwart at the front of this little boat and look back at where we had been, look at his strong hands, his arms, moving us slowly forward — this desire for him to row me home?
Maybe it was all of these things.

Read more

See full presentation of the book here

Read more about the author here

See all NORLA’s Selected Titles for the autumn 2022 here

Photo: Fartein Rudjord/NORLA