Four of our authors nominated for Brage awards
The Brage award is the biggest and most prestigious Norwegian book award. In addition to Karl Ove Knausgård's nomination for My Struggle – First Book in the category best work of fiction, Ingrid Storholmen is nominated for Chernobyl Stories . In the category best children’s book, Bjørn Sortland and Hilde Kramer are nominated for What the Heart Remembers . In the category best work of non-fiction, Helge Ryggvik is nominated for To the Last Drop. The Political Economy of Oil.
In their announcement, the jury said the following about the nominated books:
My Struggle - First Book by Karl Ove Knausgård:
" My Struggle - First Book is the first part of Karl Ove Knausgård’s anticipated 6-volume novel. Nevertheless, this book is a great independent literary masterpiece. The author’s strong style and mastery of substantial thinking is present already from the supreme first sentence: “To the heart, life is simple: it beats for as long as it can.” With these words, Knausgård stretches out the extensive existential canvas in one single heartbeat: To the heart, life is simple. To man, it is not. In My Struggle - First Book, Knausgård moves closer in on a character than what we usually see in literature. He exposes his main character and his surroundings with a merciless, but unbiased eye. The fact that the author obviously is strongly rooted in his own biography, gives the novel a universal – rather than private – quality. The main topic in the book is the narrator’s relationship to his father. Knausgård manages to write about this complex relationship in an uncompromising manner, with convincing psychological insight. Threads of shame, guilt, distance, admiration and intimacy are plied together to form a vibrating literary string. The novel ends, temporarily, with the most magnificent cleaning scene ever seen in Norwegian literature. There are tears, many tears, in My Struggle - First Book, but Knausgård never becomes whining or sentimental. This is one of the novel’s most powerful aspects: The author manages to move the heart, without allowing cheap literary tricks to corrupt the text. With My Struggle - First Book, Karl Ove Knausgård has written an extremely hot-blooded and interesting novel.
Chernobyl Stories by Ingrid Storholmen:
"Ingrid Storholmen has written a significant book, in the shape of a collection of poetic short prose with a clear environmental awareness. The victims’ voices are used to describe the brutal consequences of the accident at reactor 4 in Chernobyl. Individuals are portrayed intimately and realistically, tied together by the fatal spring day at the nuclear power plant in 1986. We meet young and older people, women and men, who have all experienced a pain it is hard to imagine. The writer tells us about illness and grief, loss and loneliness in an existence filled with fear. Storholmen’s prose is deeply consistent and pregnant. The same goes for the composition – the book’s fragmented descriptions lead one’s thoughts to the radioactivity following the accident. The short scenes are introduced by actual facts about the consequences of nuclear reactor accidents. These facts emphasize the strong political message in the book. Ingrid Storholmen has written a good and important book, combining political and poetic arguments to convince us that nuclear power is not the solution to our time’s global energy and environmental crisis. Still, the book is not a manifesto but a model example on how literature can try to influence our society."
What the Heart Remembers by Bjørn Sortland and Hilde Kramer (ill.):
"In this colourful picture book, we get to know and be intrigued by the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. A fictive meeting between the artist and a young girl gives us an outline of her life and art. The meeting point for the two is pain, grief and loss. This is an unpretentious but strong story about love and the difficult life. With its close interaction between words and images, author and illustrator, the book functions both as a story and as a work of non-fiction."
To the Last Drop. The Political Economy of Oil by Helge Ryggvik:
"In To the Last Drop. The Political Economy of Oil, scientist Helge Ryggvik has a critical and different look at the Norwegian oil fortune. Using as a starting point the idea of the economy of oil as a political quantity, Ryggvik introduces new perspectives on how we administer the oil. Norway’s policy has in many ways been a success, Ryggvik claims. However, the romanticized picture of the Norwegian oil adventure hides the fact that we extract the oil much faster than planned, while the foundation of the Norwegian oil program is gradually deconstructed – to little protest. At the same time Ryggvik is very critical to the idea of seeing Statoil as a company acting like a friendly giant calling for common sense, safety and cooperation when dealing with international contacts. The presentation gives solid contributions to a discussion about Statoil’s commitment abroad and how the oil nation of Norway will develop."
The winners will be announced on November 19th.