How to grieve in the shadow of a national grief? In Welcome to us we meet Arild and Sella, who each in their own way are coming to terms with having lost a son in a ferry accident. That was eight years ago, but after 22nd July 2011 their grief is reawakened.
A couple living in the same neighbourhood lost a daughter on Utøya, and Sella becomes almost obsessed with the way this couple manage to articulate their loss, create new perspectives for their lives, and come to terms with something so unspeakable.
Welcome to us is a novel about the people on the fringes of the national catastrophe who are still drawn into its emotional undercurrent. It is also a love story about two people compelled to make the choices which keep them alive.
“Evjemo’s writing is brilliant, unpretentious, precise and nuanced. He describes the space between people. The distance. The silent sorrow. The loneliness. The despair. But he also writes about love, unity and a sense of belonging. It’s real. It’s important. And it is penned by one of the best authors that Norwegian contemporary literature has to offer.”
“Un roman à la fois beau et éprouvant, auquel la triste actualité confère toute son importance.”
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“Everything that was unclear or completely overlooked before is suddenly laid out. Details that you didn’t notice before suddenly become not only visible, but charged with meaning… He has a unique way of looking at the everyday occurrences, practical details and past events that dominate our lives.”
“Evjemo has made several successful attempts to counteract everyday triviality with compositional originality. He writes lyrical, thoughtful passages.”
“The sorrow is well presented from a clever perspective, and there is not a line too many.”