Narrative non-fiction

Sigri Sandberg

The Fjord - A Long Row Home
RO: om Sognefjorden og ein lang rotur heim

The Sognefjord is an elongated sea inlet banked by steep valley walls. The fjord was formed by glaciers over the course of millions of years.

Nature writer Sigri Sandberg is a restless mother of two who lives in several places. Her restlessness is compounded by death and illness in the lives of loved ones and upsetting reports about the state of the planet. She longs for peace of mind. She wonders about what home really is and what it means to belong somewhere.
Sandberg decides to row the Sognefjord, the more than 200 kilometers of the world’s longest navigable fjord, in an old wooden rowboat. She starts at the mouth of the fjord, in the area where she lived as a child, and rows inland, toward the farm where she now lives part-time.

Along the way she explains how the fjord was created, describes daily life back when the fjord was the main transport artery and elaborates on wind and currents, and life above and below the water surface. She rows with her husband, her girlfriends, and her mother – on different legs of the journey. She navigates waves and drama but also stretches of calm water and finds time for singing and skinny-dipping.

This is a beautiful story about Norway’s longest fjord – and an attempt to find home.

Sandberg ro 9788234007835

‘I have been reading – sitting in my favourite chair and accompanying you through rain and squalls and against the current, and through the silence of mirrorlike surfaces. I have felt powerful physical vitality and a sense of mastery (…) I have immersed myself in your reflections and delighted in your abilities as a writer. And I remain delighted by your determination, your honesty (which is at times startling) and your love. (…) Thank you very much for a glorious fjord voyage, Sigri.’

Unn Spjelkavik, retired teacher

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