Simon Stranger - Selected Title Author

Simon Stranger has written about a murder case from real life, which is closely connected to his own family. – This book is for everyone who enjoys novels of the more serious kind, and especially those who are interested in the second world war, he says.

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Simon Stranger has written the book 'Museum for Murderers and Rescuers'. Photo: Jan Tore Eriksen / NORLA.

Museum of Murderers and Rescuers is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023. Here, author Simon Stranger speaks about the book, who it is written for, what inspired him to write it and where and when he works best.

What is your book about?

Museum for Murderers and Rescuers is about a real-life murder case. Two Norwegian “border guides” (grenseloser) kill the Jewish couple they’re supposed to be saving, steal their money, and sink the bodies in a pond by the border. A few weeks later, one of the murderers helps my wife’s maternal grandmother and her entire family over the border to Sweden. The novel is built up like an imaginary museum; each chapter is an object, a photograph, or a memory that tells its own part of the story of the Norwegian genocide, the resistance fight, and the people who made money in the gray area – like my own great-grandfather, who owned a print shop that produced propaganda for the Nazis. He is also included in the novel.

What inspired you to write this book?

While working on a podcast about the war, I learned that it was not, in fact, Carl Fredriksen’s Transport that was responsible for saving my wife’s family. It isn’t those four heroes I have to thank for the existence of my wife and children. It’s a murderer.

Who is this book for?

Anyone who appreciates novels of a more serious and poetic nature, but perhaps especially those interested in World War II. In recent years, it’s been possible to shed light on the more complex stories from the war and to recount the experiences of those who were on the side of the Nazis. Parts of the Nazi ideology have been present in European culture for over a thousand years and unfortunately still remain – on the internet, in minds, on the streets – and these kinds of thoughts lead to violence again and again. Museum for Murderers and Rescuers is therefore also a novel about our time. Unfortunately.

Where and/or when do you work best?

I work best in the morning, preferably in a quiet place, but I’m flexible. In theory, I can work anywhere – on a train, a plane, a cafe – and I can quickly immerse myself in the material I’m working on. The best “office” I’ve had in the past year was a small beachside cafe on the Pacific Coast in Mexico. I could have stayed there for a long time! The next best was a cottage by the sea, right next to the house where Edvard Munch once painted. Most of the time, however, I work from home in my own office, surrounded by books. I write every day throughout the year – even on Christmas Eve! – and don’t need to take breaks from creating. In fact, writing has become somewhat of an addiction.

Read more

See full presentation of the book here

See all NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023 here