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Maria Navarro Skaranger

 (NO) Maria Navarro Skaranger (c) Pernille Marie Walvik

Maria Navarro Skaranger est née en 1994 et vit à Oslo, où elle a étudié la littérature comparée après une formation en écriture créative en Hordaland. Elle n’a écrit que deux livres mais aborde des thèmes pertinents avec une impressionnante précision emprunte d’une grande originalité. Son premier roman intitulé All the Foreigners Have Closed Curtains (Tous les étrangers ferment leurs rideaux, 2015) est le premier livre norvégien écrit dans un multi-ethnolecte cohérent d’une banlieue diversifiée d’Oslo, sa langue absorbant des expressions de plusieurs pays et de backgrounds différents. L’œuvre a beaucoup plu à la critique et a été récompensée par le prix du premier roman avant d’être adaptée au cinéma en mars 2020 dans son pays. Son second roman, Bok om sorg (Fortellingen om Nils i skogen) (Livre du chagrin (L’histoire de Nils dans les bois), paru en 2018, a remporté le prix d’Oslo la même année. En 2019, Maria Navarro Skaranger était l’un des 12 contributeurs de Homeland, prestigieuse anthologie co-éditée par SAR Mette-Marit, qui explore les tenants et aboutissants de la nationalité de Norvégien .

 

  • EUPL Year: 
    2020
  • EUPL Country: 

Winning Book

Bok om sorg (Fortellingen om Nils i skogen)

Dans Bok om sorg (Fortellingen om Nils i skogen), le second roman de Maria Navarro Skaranger, on découvre la famille de Nils, un jeune homme d’environ 30 ans qui s’est donné la mort. À travers une série d’anecdotes, d’événements en apparence anodins et de souvenirs, sa sœur raconte l’histoire de sa famille avant et après Nils. On apprend ainsi comment un enfant solitaire n’a jamais réussi à trouver sa place en société, à l’école ou au travail. Sa mère, son frère et sa sœur tentent maintenant de vivre sans lui, mais trois trajectoires très différentes semblent se dessiner.

 (NO) Bok om sorg

Publishing House

Address: 

Kristian Augusts gate 16, Oslo, Norvège

Organisation: 
Forlaget Oktober

Agent / Rights Director

Representative: 
Henrik Francke, Oslo Literary Agency

Translation Deals

  • Albanie : Albas
  • Bulgarie : Perseus
  • Croatie : Naklada Ljevak
  • Îles Féroé : Sprotin
  • Macédoine : Ars Lamina
  • Serbie : Treci Trg

Excerpt

Bok om sorg (Fortellingen om Nils i skogen) - Maria Navarro Skaranger - Language: Norwegian

RYDDE UT

(ULYKKEN)

1. Jeg liker best de bildene der Nils tuller. De bildene der han drikker en øl, geiper, lager grimaser. Det ser så ekte ut.

Det finnes en del bilder der vi er barn, der han er barn, oppfører seg som barn, løper på en eng, klatrer i trær, bilder fra fisketurer. Det finnes de der han er syk. I albumene er disse bildene ofte klippet litt i, han kan være klippet bort, eller være halv, enten fordi han ser så tynn ut eller fordi det bare er sånt man gjør.

2. Mammas øyne var umulige å tyde, hun sa nesten ingenting heller.

Det første broren min Mik sa: Det var jo dette vi var redde for, vi visste jo at dette kunne skje. Han sa det veldig enkelt og greit, ikke overraska, mer bekreftende, faren min nikket han også, faren min var enig, Mik sa noe han kjente seg igjen i, alle var liksom enige, som om vi alle på en eller annen måte hadde forberedt oss eller tenkt det før, tanken hadde allerede streifet oss, og da hadde den vel også streifet Nils selv. Mest sannsynlig for lenge siden. Da han bodde i skogen eller kanskje de første gangene han ble lagt inn.

Vi hadde kanskje tenkt allerede da, at denne gutten, han kommer aldri til å bli gammel, han kommer aldri til å få barn, gifte seg, kjøpe hus og bil.

3. Først var stemmen til faren min i telefonen bare veldig tørr, mutt, virka nesten sur. Mamma sa alltid før at dette mutte var en typisk nordnorsk greie. Man sier noe til han, så bruker han veldig lang tid på å svare, kanskje ti sekunder.

Etterpå hadde han et ansiktsuttrykk som var umulig å bestemme, øynene vidåpne og helt blanke og glassaktige, kanskje han var skremt, redd, begge deler.

Han tok hunden på løpetur og var borte i mange timer. Da de kom inn igjen, la hunden seg rett ned på gulvet og sovna, lå helt stille og med tunga ut, akkurat som den var død, den òg. Faren min tok seg i håret hele tida, klødde seg bak ørene, pirket, strøk håret bakover med fingrene, kikka på fingrene sine etterpå. Han tok et stort glass med cola som han drakk og drakk av helt til det var tomt. Jeg tenkte på hvordan kullsyra måtte ha gitt han frysninger. Etterpå fylte han glasset med vann, så helte han vann i hendene som han skvettet opp i ansiktet sitt flere ganger.

4. De første nettene hos mamma var jeg våken, jeg prøvde å legge meg ned, holde øynene igjen og bli liggende, bli i senga, jeg lå på siden, på ryggen, jeg stod opp igjen, gikk stille inn på kjøkkenet, jeg lot det være mørkt, spiste, drakk, så på tv. Jeg trodde det gradvis skulle gi seg, men selv da jeg dro tilbake til min egen leilighet var jeg våken, og heller ikke om dagen kunne jeg sove. Jeg spydde og hakket tenner. Om kroppen gikk i krig eller i brems, det vet jeg ikke, en rekke normalreaksjoner, sa legen, søvnproblemer, følelse av apati, nedsatt matlyst. Jeg fikk et papir med en firkant på. Firkanten skulle jeg være inni, det var noe med å ha kontakt med følelsene sine eller ikke.

Jeg bretta papiret sammen og putta det i veska, prøvde å ta det til meg, tenke på firkanten, var på vakt. Når jeg spydde, spiste jeg etterpå, og når jeg hakket tenner, pusta jeg inn med nesa og ut med munnen.

5. Brevet var datert dagen før, eller to dager før, det var bretta sammen, det lå i jakkelomma hans. Det var ikke langt, noen få setninger som jeg ikke husker eksakt, men det stod noe sånt som at han var sliten og at denne gangen orka han ikke mer. Han må ha prøvd å unnslippe det, eller han må ha visst at han ikke kom til å bli frisk igjen. Kanskje det var derfor han ikke gjorde så mye ut av seg, han søkte ikke hjelp. Han gikk til psykiateren, hun satte en sprøyte i rumpa hans og han gikk hjem igjen. Var det en ro over det hele?

6. Det er ikke langt. Hvis man vil gå inn til skogen fra leiligheten til Nils, så går man bare litt oppover i borettslaget, langs veien og gjennom bommen og under ei gangbru, det blir færre og færre hus jo lenger ut man kommer. Det er skogen og det er blokkene, som er plassert symmetrisk foran hverandre. Det er mørk gran og furu og noen vann, og hvis man går langt, er det enda mer skog, flere vann, og noen gårder.

7. Nils bodde i gråblokkene, de store som mange synes er stygge fordi de ser ut som russerblokker. Det finnes ikke mange slike blokker i Osloområdet. Det er Rødtvet, Tveita og Ammerud, det er flere også, sikkert. Som barn tulla vi ofte med at jeg kom til å ende opp som trebarnsmor i blokkene, vi tulla med at blokkene bare var for narkiser og trygda folk eller innvandrere som presser alle barna sine inn på ett rom.

De var ment å skulle påvirke beboerne på en positiv måte, den umiddelbare nærheten til skogen rundt, et kjøpesenter like bortenfor, banen ned til byen. Jeg vet ikke helt hva som gikk galt.

8. Blokkene ble pussa opp for kanskje to år siden, og da var det store oppslag i avisene, om at nå skulle det bli bedre å bo der, og mer barnevennlig, og det var noen som hadde reagert på den skrekkfilmen som ble spilt inn i samme blokk, at det var negativt for miljøet. Nå skulle obos pusse opp slik at blokkene ble mindre betong! De la kunstgressmatte som gulv på alle verandaene, de satte inn store glassplater over rekkverket, så verandaen kan bli et helt rom eller en boks eller et drivhus, det blir mindre kaldt om vinteren og enda varmere på sommeren. For å kikke ut og ned på bakken må man skyve glassene til side, da kan man lene seg ut. Utsikten går til baksida på gamlehjemmet, en gressplen, en bilvei og skogen.

9. Jeg var ikke hjemme hos han mange ganger. Leiligheten var liten og beregna på én person, selv om det er flere familier som bor i blokka, kanskje er leilighetene i forskjellig størrelse, det vet jeg ikke helt. Det var fint for han å ha sitt eget sted. Jeg spiste middag og sov over to ganger, den ene gangen lagde han biff, den var mør og lys rosa inni, perfekt stekt, han hadde lagd fløtepotetene fra bunnen av, sa han. Jeg sov på en madrass og han sov i sovesofaen. Han stod opp midt på natta og satt lenge på verandaen og røyka.

Den andre gangen hadde han lagd suppe. Jeg var der kanskje en gang til, for å hente noe eller for å gi han et råd.

Translated Excerpt

Book of grief (The story of Nils in the woods) - Maria Navarro Skaranger - Translation by Rachel Rankin

CLEARING OUT

(THE ACCIDENT) 

1. My favourite photos of Nils are the ones where he’s messing about. The photos where he’s drinking a beer, sticking his tongue out, pulling faces. It looks so genuine.

There are quite a lot of photos of us as children, of him as a child, behaving like a child: running through a meadow, climbing trees, photos from fishing trips. There are ones in which he’s unwell. These photos are often cropped a little in the albums. He can be cropped out or cut in half, either because he looks so thin or be-cause that’s just the kind of thing you do. 

2. Mum’s eyes were impossible to read. She said hardly anything either.

The first thing my brother Mik said was: This is what we were afraid of, of course we knew it could happen. He said it very plain-ly and simply, not surprised, more an affirmation, and my father nodded in agreement – Mik’s words had struck a chord, and every-one pretty much agreed, as if we had all, in one way or another, prepared ourselves for it, or considered it before. The thought had already crossed our minds, and it must have crossed Nils’ mind too, probably a long time ago, when he lived in the woods, or may-be during the first few times he was admitted.

We had perhaps already considered that this boy would never grow old, would never have children, get married, buy a house and a car. 

3. At first, my father’s voice on the telephone was just very dry, sullen, almost angry. Mum always used to say that this sullenness was typical of northern Norwegians. You’ll say something to him, and he’ll take a very long time to respond – maybe ten seconds.

Afterwards, his facial expression was impossible to read, his eyes wide open, all shiny and glassy. Maybe he was scared, or worried, or both.

He went out running with the dog and was gone for hours. When he came back again, the dog slumped to the floor and fell asleep, lying completely still with its tongue out, as though it were dead as well. My father kept touching his hair, scratching behind his ears, prodding, pushing his hair back with his fingers, looking at his fingers afterwards. He poured a large glass of cola and drank and drank until it was empty. I thought about how the fizz must have given him chills. Afterwards, he filled the glass with water, which he then poured over his hands, splashing his face several times. 

4. During the first few nights at Mum’s house, I was wide awake. I tried to go to sleep, to keep my eyes closed and lie there, stay there, stay in bed. I lay on my side and then on my back before getting up again, quietly going into the kitchen and eating, drink-ing, watching TV in the dark. I thought it would slowly wear off, but even when I went back to my own flat, I was wide awake at night and couldn’t fall asleep during the day either. I vomited and ground my teeth. I don’t know if my body was at war with itself or breaking down. Sleep issues, feelings of apathy, reduced appetite – a series of normal reactions, the doctor said. I was given a piece of paper with a square on it. I had to be inside the square – it was something to do with being in touch with your feelings, or not.

I folded the paper and put it in my bag. I tried to take it all on board, to think of the square, to be alert. When I vomited, I ate af-terwards, and when I ground my teeth, I breathed in through the nose and out through the mouth. 

5. The letter was dated the day before, or two days before. It was folded up in his jacket pocket and it wasn’t long, just a few sentenc-es which I don’t remember exactly, but it said something about how he was exhausted and that this time he couldn’t take it any-more. He must have tried to avoid it, or he must have known that he wasn’t going to be well again. Maybe that’s why he didn’t draw much attention to himself. He didn’t seek help. He went to the psy-chiatrist, she stuck a syringe in his backside, and he went home again. Was there a calmness about the whole thing? 

6. It’s not far away. If you want to go into the woods from Nils’ flat, you just have to walk a bit further through the housing coopera-tive, along the road, then through the barrier and underneath a footbridge. The further you go, the fewer the houses. There are the woods and there are the tower blocks, which are placed sym-metrically opposite each other. There are dark pines and spruces and a stretch of water and, if you keep walking, there is even more woodland, more water, and a few farms. 

7. Nils lived in one of the grey high-rises, the large ones many people think are ugly because they look like Russian tower blocks. There aren’t many like this around the Oslo area. There’s Rødtvert, Tveita, Ammerud, and probably several more. As children, we often joked that I’d end up a mother-of-three living in one of those tower blocks. We joked that they were just for junkies and benefit scroungers, or immigrants who squeezed all their children into one room.

It was meant to have a positive impact on the people who lived there, this close proximity to the surrounding woods, with a shop-ping centre just beyond and the lane leading down to the town. I’m not exactly sure what went wrong. 

8. The tower blocks were renovated maybe two years ago and there was broad coverage about it in the newspapers. They said that it would now be a better place to live, more child friendly. There was also some reaction from people about the horror film which had been filmed in the same building – they said it was bad for local spirit. Now the tower blocks were going to be renovated so there would be less concrete! Artificial grass was laid on the floor of all the verandas and large panes of glass were installed above the railings so that the veranda could be a whole room or a box or a greenhouse, less cold in the winter and ever warmer in the summer. To look out and down to the ground, you have to push the glass sideways and then you can lean out. The view is of the back of the nursing home, a lawn, a road, and the woods. 

 9. I didn’t visit him at home a lot. The flat was small, designed for one person, even though there were several families who lived in the tower block – maybe the flats are different sizes, I’m not entire-ly sure. It was nice for him to have his own place. I had dinner and stayed over twice. One time, he made beef. It was tender and light pink inside, cooked perfectly, and he had made potatoes au gratin, from scratch, he said. I slept on a mattress and he slept on the sofa bed. He got up in the middle of the night and sat on the veranda for a long time, smoking.

The second time, he had made soup. I was there maybe one more time after that, to collect something, or to give him a piece of advice.

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