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Three avid debutants

Three different debutants delivering promising novels. Time will show who is able to follow this up by delivering new interesting novels.


The debutants got a lot of attention a few years ago when they came out with their fiction books, this trend has reversed in the last couple of years and as a debutant you are not guaranteed attention at all. Ny Tid has covered three of this autumn's novel debutants and is taking a closer look at the books.

The possibilities

I The possibilities by Cathrine Knudsen we meet two I-tellers Mona and Rune, the two are siblings and struggling with the relationship with an alcoholic father.

The novel starts with Mona meeting the father in the childhood village, this meeting is undramatic and the father's constitution is not revealed. But the fact that the novel starts with a meeting with his father indicates his importance. The action is then moved to Bergen where Mona's everyday life is portrayed, primarily the job at an institution, but we also know that she writes.

When the viewpoint changes to Rune, he gets the father to visit Trondheim and the father is made clear as a person that is difficult to relate to. Furthermore, it is told about Rune's daily life with work as a night watchman at an institution, and about a relationship he initiates with a woman.

After the introductory sections, their lives in Bergen and Trondheim are abandoned. First, they each have their own sequence in Drammen where her mother lives, nor is her relationship without problems.

In a few parts, Mona and Rune appear together. They have traveled to Spain in search of their father, they have an appointment with him, but he does not show up and they have to look for him. This repeats itself, they look for him and find him, in an increasingly poor constitution. In the last part, Mona is alone and looking for her father.

The title The possibilities refers to the life course and opportunities Rune and Mona have been given. They are school-savvy and hardworking and both start studying. Both also begin with something quite common for students and academics; they take a job in the care sector. Rune, while actually going to major, Mona, while she really wants to write. Mona and Rune are still relatively young, but they still notice the limitations that are coming. Mona says: “I know my defense is starting to collapse. The contempt. Before, I had all the opportunities, when I was younger I was just opportunities, full of opportunities. But now the opportunities have blown me up. Now the contempt is starting to take hold. ”The book has several such precise passages with insight and seriousness.

The title The possibilities also refers to the father, who has chosen what many would call good opportunities to live on the side of society. Both Mona and Rune have experiences with people on the side of society through their work at institutions. During the novel, they both end up in these jobs. Rune starts working at a bar in Spain while looking for his father. Mona resigns and goes to Spain to look for his father and find him. This can be read as Mona quit her job of caring for other people so that she could take care of her own father instead.

The novel is well written. The objection is that the action is not well enough tied together. It seems as if Mona and Rune's lives are initially arbitrarily sketched out and then lost, this part of the action is not followed up.


Also in Meeting by Anne Gjeitanger there are two different viewpoints and narrative voices. At each section, the angle of view alternates between Tale and Mimi. The action takes place in less than two days where Tale arrives by train from Oslo to visit Mimi, who now lives in his childhood home on Jæren. It's been over five years since they last saw each other. Then Mimi was the teacher of Speech at an art school in Hamburg.

The change in view gives a nice dynamic to the reading, and shows how different one interprets even small everyday events. On the outside, not much happens during these two days, but both women think about their lives; the relationship to the work, that is, the visual arts, and unclear love relationships with each man. Tale is around 30, working in a gallery and struggling to produce his own paintings. Mimi is 20 years older than Tale and will open a separate exhibition. Speech has a relationship with a married man. Mimi still relates to the somewhat difficult Carlo she lived with in Hamburg and who now travels around the world. Also Tale's deceased brother is the thoughts Tale struggles with.

The dramatic highlight of the novel is when the two women manage to meet in a conversation. Implemented by a small breakdown at Tale. Speech manages to open up to Mimi and a glimmer of understanding between them arises. At the same time, in this sequence the book is approaching the tumultuous. "Of course he has it, she knows it now, and she knows he's become different, grown, strong. As in that dream. Someone who looks after her, but who still can't keep up with everything she does, every thought she makes, and maybe not everyone is equally important, either. ” Here, it can turn over, become too pretentious, with too many big words, but overall the novel balances nicely in linguistic terms.

The main objection is rather that it is too short, that the settlement between Mimi and Tale becomes enforced quickly and Tale withdraws without seeing the exhibition for Mimi for which she has come. The book is only on 123 pages, it could well have been longer.

The king commands

Linda Gabriel's novel The king commands has a traditional I-narrator throughout the novel. This ego alternates between a young adult perspective and the child's perspective with the main emphasis on childhood. Although the hunt tells, Sister Liv is also central to the story. The novel is about the two sisters Ingrid and Liv who grow up with Grandma and Grandpa. Mora is a distant lady who only comes to visit a rare time and we do not hear about any father. The relationship between Grandma and Grandpa is rarely described as good. Grandpa loves Grandma and Grandma for her part is exceptionally beautiful. The excursion to the landfill right at the beginning of the book also draws a harmonious picture of this little family, where Grandpa, Grandma and the self have it absolutely excellent, only the sisters suggest otherwise. Her discomfort makes us realize that something is not the way it should be. Neither is it. Grandpa abuses Life sexually. This big, partly taboo and serious theme, the debutant here tries to say something about and she succeeds occasionally. As the action develops, Grandpa also looses on the hunt. Grandma finds out about Grandpa's huge betrayal, but fails to leave him or save his grandchildren. In this way, the four become tied together in a cluttered family reality that no one can break out of. It is also no surprise that Liv and Ingrid still have problems in adulthood. But their lives in adulthood can become somewhat vague and unclear. The novel is clearly best when it tells of childhood.

The novel begins and ends with the adult self. In the beginning, she tries to model herself as a sculptor and pretends to be blind. In the end, she visits her sister and tries to encourage her not to give up her life. The novel confirms how devastating it is to be subject to incest. It also problematizes the role of her married to the abuser. As Grandma says to the self in adulthood after her grandfather's death: “Herman was my great love! No one would call such a bad man! Ingrid, do you hear? ”The novel has various sections with titles that together form the phrase:" all stories begin somewhere in the middle of another story ". That sentence probably stands for the author's certainty that this is only part of a story told here. So all stories will be.

Catherine Knudsen

"The possibilities"

Pond 2005

Linda gabrielsen

"The king commands"

Cinderella 2005

Anne Gjeitanger


October 2005

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