1996 Øystein Lønn, Norway: Hva skal vi gjøre i dag? og andre noveller

1996 Øystein Lønn, Norge: Hva skal vi gjøre i dag? og andre noveller
Morten Brun

About the author

Øystein Lønn was born in Kristiansand in southern Norway, making his literary debut with a collection of short stories in 1966. He was long admired by other writers, but was unknown to the greater public until 1993 when he was awarded the Brage Prize for his collection of short stories Thranes metode. He is regarded as an excellent stylist and perspicacious observer when he dissects the lives of ordinary people with focus on the sadness of modern life.

About the winning piece

Hva skal vi gjøre i dag? og andre noveller is, at a first glance, an overtly usual story where nothing unusual happens. Using this narrative technique, Øystein Lønn intends to reveal what lies beneath the surface of modern man. The collection of short stories describes the lives of four older people for the past 40 years. Three of them have had successful careers, but end up unemployed for different reasons. The couples plan a trip to New Guinea and put all their trust in the trip to give them back their joie de vivre. Everything is said between the lines in the book – people’s characters appear in the pauses between dialogues. A style grip in the book is to describe a person through the thoughts of another person.

Hva skal vi gjøre i dag? og andre noveller

Published by: The publishing house Gyldendal Norsk Forlag 

Publication year: 1995

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

The glimpse of what lies beneath the linguistic surface has always been a mark of Øystein Lønn’s writings. He is the undisputed master of ambiguous dialogue. In “Hva skal vi gjøre i dag?” he dramatises the tension between our private lives and the incalculable social process.