The One Needful Thing
Original title: Yt etter evne, få etter behov
Publisher: Samlaget, 2020
Pages: 191 pages
Who will shoulder a responsibility that nobody can really manage?
In The One Needful Thing the reader gains insight into the daily life of an ordinary family that has ceased to be ordinary. Lea lies in bed playing Hay Day on her iPad and wonders whether she has chronic fatigue syndrome – she no longer has the strength to be a mother. Her sister Rakel, a dutiful person, balances along a tightrope in her role as the primary care provider for intellectually disabled nephew Benjamin. Their mother Gudrun focuses her time and energy on the youngest of the three sisters Linda, and her family. One day, Rakel is not home to receive Bjemain from a scheduled drop off after spending the weekend in respite care, and the rest of the family has to step in.
The One Needful Thing , nominated for the Brage Prize 2020, is simultaneously witty and serious. It is a continuation of the themes explored in A Tale of Terrible Times from 2017: Who will shoulder an impossible responsibility in the age of individualism? Can a balance be found between freedom and obligation, as community, family, and individual?
Dutch: Uitgeverij Oevers
Serbian: Tréci Trg
Winner of the P2 Audience Novel Award 2020