Unexpected Dawn: A Story about mushrooms and grief

Unexpected Dawn: A Story about mushrooms and grief

Long Litt Woon

Original title: Stien tilbake til livet. Om sopp og sorg
Publisher: Vigmostad og Bjørke, 2017
Genre: Narrative Non Fiction
Pages: 300 pages

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“It felt as if someone had slammed me with a huge sledgehammer…. Just a few hours ago we were a married couple…..Now Eiolf was at the Emergency Ward at Ullevål Hospital. Dead and cold.”

This is a story about a journey that started abruptly when the author’s life collapsed. In the midst of paralyzing grief, she stumbles upon the wondrous world of mushrooms. In the process, she befriends the Mushroom Pickers, a tribe with their own unspoken rules and rites of passage. As she sets out on a voyage of discovery into the realm of fungi, she ventures along a parallel journey through an inner landscape of pain and sorrow.
As Long takes the reader through this simultaneously funny and heartbreaking story, her unusual, personal quest soon feels familiar; at it’s underlying core the story is one of common human experience. We are introduced to mushrooms not only as food or poison, but also their natural history and cultural significance. In the book, the author unveils how the combination of mushrooms and grief triggers fundamental changes in her life by creating new meaning and identity.

Told in a clear and strong narrative voice, the author’s enthusiasm for mushrooms is particularly charming and is also likely to be contagious.

Foreign rights

Danish: Don Max, German: btb, Randomhouse, Italian: Iperborea, Dutch: AW Bruna, Swedish: Polaris, World – English: Scribe Publishing House, Spanish: Maeva, French: Gaïa Éditions, Catalan: Ara llibres, Finnish: Nemo Kustannus, Japanese: Misuzu Shobo, Polish: Wydawnictwo Literackie

“This is one of the most surprising and original books I have read in a long time – so much to learn and reflect about the human condition and about a natural phenomenon.”

Knut Olav Åmås (Norwegian critic, commentator and writer)

It is poetic, warm and moving, and steeped in life wisdom.

Sissel Gran

Long Litt Woon

Long litt woon
Photo: Johs. Bøe

Long Litt Woon (born 1958 in Malaysia) is an Anthropologist and certified Mushroom Expert in Norway. She went to Norway in her youth as an exchange student. There she met and later married a Norwegian, Eiolf Olsen, and made Norway her home. She currently lives in Oslo, Norway. The author’s surname is Long in accordance to Chinese naming tradition.

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