2009 Per Petterson, Norway: Jeg forbanner tidens elv

2009 Per Petterson, Norge: Jeg forbanner tidens elv
Finn Ståle Felberg

About the author

Per Petterson is born in Oslo and is one of Norway’s most recognised and popular writers. He was born into a working-class family and has been strongly involved in the left-wing movement. Already in 1977, Per Petterson was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize for his novel To Sibiria. In 2003, he received international attention with Out Stealing Horses, which received a host of prizes in several countries.

About the winning piece

I Curse the River of Time is, despite the title, a beautiful and quietly flowing novel. In his 20s, Arvid is a communist and quits his studies to be proletarianised. This hurts his mother deeply and is a great disappointment to her. Twenty years later he is divorced at the same time as his mother is diagnosed with cancer. She leaves Norway for northern Denmark where she was born. Arvid decides to look her up. There, he gets the feeling of having failed everything: his professional life, his marriage and his political commitment. The entire novel, in which Arvid is the narrator, builds on these flashbacks, dominated by the relationship with his mother. He describes the difficulties of their relationship, his youthful dreams, the return to childhood and its painful stories.

Jeg forbanner tidens elv (I Curse the River of Time)

Published by: The publishing company Oktober 

Publication year: 2008

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

The protagonist in the novel describes his experiences and his fragmented memoirs with several crises of life in his own family. In a poetic and quiet language Petterson brings across how difficult it is to say what feels like the most important things to say to each other.