Victoria Kielland

Original title: Dammyr
Publisher: No Comprendo Press, 2016
Pages: 127 pages

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Aurora wanders the streets of Dammyr—an industrial area along the tracks in Fredrikstad named after its watery marshes, or dammyr—in search of her own heart. Through the fog and the twilight and steaming manhole covers, she drifts through forest and archipelago, past silos and busstops, along the entire Glomma River and the promenade along the pier, farther and farther out to Hvaler, all the way at the Swedish border. The wind whispers through the cracks in the window frames; feet balance along the edge of the Fredrikstad Bridge, fire licks at the roofs, the knife slips deeper into the flesh, an echo bursts through her body, but the only thing Aurora can find is the gentle song in her breast: don’t push love too far. Aurora wanders out to the forest and its three ponds, up to the cliff and the red-flecked rocks; wind slices into her ear and the marsh landscape covers all of Østfold. In the endless expanse of the plains, something is always getting lost between voice and body, between thrill and obsession, between the hand and the shoulderblade before the hand strikes the face, between faith, hope, and love.

It’s a good place to be, believe it or not: seeing Fredrikstad through Kielland’s ice-age gaze, a liquid, slimy torrent of mud that empties out into the secretions of today: lip gloss, candy, discharge. Full of longing, this is sensual masterpiece of hypnotically repetitive language.

Bookseller’s Scholarship jury statement

Victoria Kielland’s narrative voice has room for both richness of detail and the urban community’s longer, more indistinct lines. Dammyr is a suggestive novel where the drama unfolds between stable everyday life and potentially life-changing outbursts on streetcorners.

Jury statement, nomination for the Youth Critics Award 2016

Victoria Kielland shows her poetic muscle in her second book… With Dammyr, she has created an intense novel where time is great and inexorable, people fragile and brutal at the same time…

Ine Lavik, Littkritikk.no

The muddy morass we all get stuck in… is a suggestive force in this novel… There’s real mud between the pink book covers… Well written… there are plenty of good reasons to get out into Kieland’s marshy universe.

Marta Norheim, NRK

Victoria Kielland

Portrett victoria kielland høyoppløselig
Julia Marie Naglestad

Victoria Kielland’s first book, the short prose collection I lyngen 2013 (In the Heather) was shortlisted for the Tarjei Vesaas Debutant Prize. In 2016, Kielland’s first novel Dammyr <(>Marsh Pond”), was shortlisted for the Youth Critics’ Prize. My Men is her breakthrough novel, published to rave reviews in Norway in 2021, awarded The Thorleif Dahl Prize and The Dobloug Prize, awarded by the Swedish Academy, and is an international success, so far sold to 16 languages and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award.

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