Meet Siri Helle - Selected Title Author

We are happy to present our selected title author Siri Helle. She has written Coming Home (original title: Trollefossvegen 23). The book is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles of the spring 2023.

Read our interview with Siri here.

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Siri Helle. Photo: David Zadig

What is the book about?

Is it possible to go from being someone with little to no belongings, always on the road, to settled down – in the tiny village where you grew up to boot? What kinds of chances open up when you close all the doors of opportunity except for one?

This was the starting point for the story in Coming Home – a book that depicts the year in which I do just that: sign my first housing contract, move in, and create a home in a red house that might be from the 18th century with a big outbuilding, a large garden, and a lot of potential. Together with my boyfriend, Asle, I remodel, plant seed potatoes, hunt, despair, fish, argue, and make two- and four-legged friends. Our home grows around us and within us and I discover the small joys. The everyday.

This isn’t a book about great dangers or award-winning innovations. It’s a book about something most of us do at least once in our lives. It’s a book about something so ordinary we might take it for granted. And we shouldn’t. Because few things are better than a home you’ve created yourself.

What inspired you to write this book?

Many people dream of moving out of the city and settling down in a village. For years, “small farm” has been the most common phrase in property searches in Norway. At the same time, though, achieving such a dream is fraught with both fear and prejudice – prejudice against people who live in the countryside and fear of ending up in a stereotypical cliché of a village dweller who idealizes their own garden, hates big city people and other foreigners, and only cares about not being wiped out themselves.

The truth is – it isn’t like that at all. In reality, we’re really just perfectly ordinary people, and that’s what I wanted to show in Coming Home: all of the possibilities that exist in settling down in a place that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and isn’t drowning in cultural offerings but is still full of exciting people, nature, and perhaps most importantly, challenges and opportunities that still await me.

At the same time, there’s a battle going on. A battle to be allowed to live good lives out here on the periphery. I know where I stand in that battle, and so does Coming Home. Because perhaps it not only benefits me but the whole world – that people are allowed to live right here, right now.

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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