European Union Prize for Literature

Creative EuropeEuropean and International Booksellers FederationEuropean Writers' CouncilFederation of European Publishers

Winning Authors

Ida Hegazi Høyer, Norway

About the author:

Ida Hegazi Høyer, born in 1981, is a Norwegian citizen with Danish-Egyptian ancestors. Her roots are in Lofoten in the north of Norway, but she grew up in Oslo. Høyer has studied sociology and worked in a clothing store, and she now writes and lives in Oslomarka – the woodlands surrounding Oslo. She is the author of three novels: her debut, Under the World, was published in autumn 2012, followed by Out in 2013 and Forgive Me in 2014. In August 2014 she was the recipient of Norway’s Bjørnsonstipendet, awarded to a prominent young talent.

Publishing house:

Tiden Norsk Forlag   
St. Olavs Gate 21B    
0165 Oslo
Norway
Tel.: +47 23 32 76 84
http://tiden.no/index.php

Agent / Rights Director:

Richard Aarø
richard.aaro@tiden.no
http://tiden.no/

Translation deals:

Book awarded:

Unnskyld (Forgive me)

Synopsis:

Forgive Me (2014) is an intense novel about love, self-deception and dangerous secrets.

In Ida Hegazi Høyer's third book, a young woman meets a young man, and it's love at first sight. He is a student of philosophy who impresses her deeply with his intellectual talk of individualism and his free spirit – he seems like the perfect man. They move into a small apartment, and in the days and weeks and months to come they become completely engulfed by one another. But it does not take long before she starts harbouring feelings of unease. Small signs, small oddities suggesting that he might not be what he appears to be.

Forgive Me explores the darker sides of everyday life, in a realism that borders onto the dreamlike and absurd, with a language that entices and surprises the reader, and through the use of black comedy.

Excerpt:

Translated by Diane Oatley


There was a bed on the pavement. All the way from the end of the street you could see that there was a bed in front of our entrance – someone was moving in, someone was moving out, something was wrong. But it wasn’t until I came up close and was about to go inside, that I saw that it was our bed, our duvet, our pillows. It all looked like an installation out there on the street.


It was a Sunday, nearly summer now, I came home and our bed was outside. You had made it, the duvet neatly folded, the pillows without head hollows, and the bedspread, which we never actually used, hung over the frame. An eternally closed night-time segment.  Probably I paused, sensing a stop or a warning, don’t go upstairs. And it was hot, the middle of the day, burning light beneath the sky.

The one flight up. Ten steps, two steps, then ten steps more. You hadn’t left the door open. You had locked it. And this I would never forget – you knew I was the only one with a key.


The dog ran out. The minute I let myself in, she came running past me. And I saw. And I understood. Your pictures, our pictures, they were no longer hanging on the walls. The skyscrapers were on the floor, face-down, two empty frames of white.


Our window was closed and the blinds were down. The closet doors were shut, the lights were out, and in the middle of the floor, where the bed had been, lay a kitchen chair. Not a sound to be heard, no air to be breathed. Twelve noon.


I did not go over to you. But I went into the room.


I walked around you, along the walls, to the window, to the day. I pulled up the blinds, opened the window, and I could have jumped; it would have been fine, because right there beneath me, positioned precisely for falling, was our bed.

More info on the author with excerpt in o.v. and EN or FR (PDF)

Rave Media Reviews:

Sagt om Under verden (2012):

«Uvanlig velskrevet debut [...] Debutantens skarpe blikk for detaljer bidrar til at en bygd med knapt 600 innbyggere pluss en innflytter blir et fullblåst romanunivers. [...] Det er i det hele tatt ingenting ved Under verden som minner om en svenneprøve.»
Fartein Horgar, Adresseavisen

«Høyer har skrive ei historie som både etterlet seg ei eiga stemning og utfordrar til vidare refleksjon. Under verden er eit debutarbeid det står respekt av.»
Marta Norheim, Kulturnytt Nrk

«Ida Hegazi Høyer har skrive ein opprørsk, intelligent og velkomponert debutroman om å finne ein heim. Ho bør vere ein sterk kandidat til Tarjei Vesaas' debutantpris»
Merete Røsvik Granlund, Dag og Tid

Sagt om Ut (2013):

«Ida Hegazi Høyer utforsker normalitetskritikk, og utbrytertrang som bikker over i det gruoppvekkende (...) Høyers Houdini-forsøk er uslepne og oppfinnsomme nok til at romanens utbryterglød fester seg i kroppen.»
Carina Elisabeth Beddari, Morgenbladet

«Ut er en flott og fintflytende, en ryddig, hverdagslig og nifs roman fra landskapene for det repetitive arbeid, besteborgerlighetens uutholdelige rutiner, og forstillelsenes umulighet.»
Jan Askelund, Stavanger Aftenblad

«Tross kjent tematikk, makter handlingen i Ut å overraske. Høyer har et presist og velkomponert språk, med en kontrollert bruk av humor som et viktig virkemiddel.»
Nordis Tennes, Klassekampens Bokmagasin

Sagt om Unnskyld (2014):

«Med tre bøker på tre år er Ida Hegazi Høyer (1981, debut 2012) allerede på god vei til å etablere et bemerkelsesverdig forfatterskap, med bøker som skiller seg ut fra de gjengse romaner holdt i overflaterealisme ... Unnskyld er kjærlighetshistorien til et umake par, en skildring av besettelse og skepsis, et flerdimensjonalt portrett av en troløs elsker, en beskrivelse av psykopatens diktatur over en mottakelig personlighet.»

Jan Askelund, Stavanger Aftenblad

«Igjen viser Ida Hegazi Høyer seg som en dyktig forteller, med spesiell evne til å la det skjulte komme gradvis til uttrykk, mens handlingen akselerer og dramatikken blir stadig mer påtrengende ... en besettende leseropplevelse.»

Geir Vestad, Hamar Arbeiderblad

«Hun har sin særegne måte å skrive på, og et språk som viser en sjelden tyngde og glød, samtidig deler hun ut både sorg og humor. Punktum og komma brukes ofte og skaper en helt rå kraft.»

Helge Kjøniksen, Moss Avis

Other Works:

Under the World

Oslo: Tiden Norsk Forlag, 2012

Out

Oslo: Tiden Norsk Forlag, 2013