Leave of Absence

Eeg, Harald Rosenløw: Gyldig fravær

Winner of The Department of Culture's Award for Best Literary Title for Children and Young Adults 2011


Due to an explosion, five teenagers are caught in the tunnel between two subway stations. Suddenly the two girls and two boys have to relate to one another in a whole new way, and to the wounded and dead in the trains. At the same time, they have to try to escape the caved in tunnel. Are they walking towards life or death? They are in a sort of purgatory where all normal laws are invalid, and they are under pressure. They all have their own histories and conflicts, and the drama they are now part of, along with the relationships that emerge, bringing new light to their lives.

This is a powerful tale about staring death and terror directly in the face.

"Rosenløw Eeg once again shows his linguistic strength. His language is hard-hitting and fast, but also lyrical, sensual, and full of metaphors. Metaphors can easily be overdone, but in this case the metaphors are enrichening. They surprise and awaken the reader, and the images are often given double meanings ... Leave of Absence is a mysterious book. Several times the reader must ask whether it is physical, actual events depicted. The book is exciting as a thriller, but it is no action book about the hunt for terrorists. It depicts a journey to death and back, and shows that such a journey marks a person. That’s something all real terror victims probably can agree on."
Marie Kleve, Dagbladet

"Life is at its most precarious in this fascinating fable about and from the time of terror… a crooked and strange environment in this novel for youths… Musicality and poetical originality characterise this authorship, and also a forced, uncompromising opposition to the adult world’s standard life, as it is the youths’ outsider identity and their ability to survive that is being explored… the solidarity that the novel’s distorted figures are described with, in that extreme situation in the tunnel, which drives them further towards the boundaries, together with the fragmented, close-up vision the author adopts, make them and their problems interesting, moving, all but a parody… Rosenløw Eeg’s novel is fascinating, written by a pen of a quality that’s rare in the world of youth novels."   
Barnebokkritikk, Inger Øystenstad

"The gravity of the situation gets a grip on the reader from the very first pages… Narratively speaking, Harald Rosenløw Eeg is both looking forward and back in the story. The intro points forward, to the shocking destruction of the subway tunnels, while the following chapters sketch people and environments in such a manner that we gradually build a picture of the central characters in the novel… Here’s one of the author’s strongest sides: the ability to go deeper into the literary personas. This shows yet again that Rosenløw Eeg has substantially more to offer as a youth novel author than most authors do ...We get to see behind the stereotypes and get a grip on the often conflicting challenges young people face when they’re standing on the threshold between childhood and adulthood ... The novel’s grim relevance is a reason in itself to read it. The author also demonstrates his literary claw through an efficient, short-cut language and a well-developed sense for metaphors. “Leave of Absence” is a challenging read. It requires patience – it’s a collective novel without a single course of action ...The author hasn’t chosen the easiest solution for his composition. In this matter, the book might just as well be read as a book for adults as a young people’s novel – like the rest of Harald Rosenløw Eeg’s authorship."
Tønsbergs blad, Finn Stenstad

Let me say this straight away: Harald Rosenløw Eeg is my man. I like his weird characters, I devour his verbal and quick language, and I’m deeply moved by his brave attempts to, again and again, write about the really big things in the world; life, death, and love… “Leave of Absence” is a novel that poses more questions than it can answer. I think that’s a good thing. …they [the characters in the book] are all described with care, so they don’t end up one-dimensional, no, they are lifted up and become alive because of the author’s intense and nourishing voice. His voice is easily recognisable, and among the best that talk about youth today.
Anne Cathrine Straume, NRK 

Rights sold to

Language Foreign publisher
Danish Turbine
German Gerstenberg Verlag
Swedish Kabusa Böcker

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