The White Bathhouse

The White Bathhouse

Thorvald Steen

Original title: Det hvite badehuset
Publisher: Forlaget Oktober, 2017
Genre: Novel
Pages: 184 pages

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The White Bathhouse is a unique story of a family coming to grips with carrying a serious hereditary illness and a history of denial, concealment, and shame. It is an essential book from a leading literary voice in Norway.

A phone call from an unknown cousin unravels a family secret. After a life spent in a wheelchair, the long-lost cousin could hold the key to his illness and history shared with a family kept hidden? Why did his mother keep silent about the existence of his uncle, his cousin, and even the name of his grandfather? It is just before advent, and his mother is old. Will it be possible to go on living without reconciliation and understanding?

The novel brings the reader to consider fundamental questions of honesty and human worth. The White Bathhouse was acclaimed as the publication of the year by several critics, and successfully adapted for the theatre in 2020.

Foreign rights

British English, American English: Seagull Books
Czech: Surzum
Danish: Turbine
Faroese: Sprotin
Singhalese: Ashirwada
Swedish: Heidruns Förlag
Azerbaijiani: Altoran Literature Magazine

Thorvald Steen narrates betrayal without condemnation and writes about the shame, individual consequences and ethical choices associated with carrying a serious hereditary illness. Intense and dynamic… The story embodies all notions of a thriller – shady motives, danger, suspense, and a revealing climax -– while the uncannily captivating core is the mother-son relation… The dramatic conversations between mother and son are painstakingly understated, the reader feels the unreleased screams stuck in both their throats. It is a powerful, unsentimental, and loyal portrayal of what shame does to a family as it passes through the generations.

Weekendavisen, Denmark

I heard Thorvald Steen’s novel The White Bathhouse was a supposed a gem. It turned out to be wrong. It is a punch in the gut, and I cannot recall last I was this moved.

Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

A novel about our time’s contempt for weakness … naked and gripping.

Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

Thorvald Steen

Mindre thorvald steen trine hisdal 4
Photo: Trine Hisdal

Thorvald Steen’s literary career begun in 1983, he has since produced a diverse body of work spanning a variety of genres. Translated into 30 languages so far, Steen has received praise and prizes for the quality of his authorship.

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Constantinople

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Giovanni

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The Last Photograph

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The Invisible Library

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The Little Horse

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