A Tale of Terrible Times
Original title: Tung tids tale
Publisher: Samlaget, 2017
Pages: 150 pages
It’s a picture of Mum,” you said from the back seat.
“Where’s Mum?” I replied from the front seat.
You took a long time to formulate your answer, whether because your speech was in the process of disintegrating, or because you were searching for a poetic line.
“On the car’s ear.”
A Tale of Terrible Times is a powerful story about what it means to be the parents of a disabled child. And about the fight to allow the child to be who he is, and to get the support that he and his family need. The book follows the mother and son, and the rest of the family, day by day from the last Monday in November until the third Thursday in May. This is a story about the fine line between accepting and giving up. This is a moving story about love that hits like a fist.
Daniel loses his speech and changes personality. For his mother, Olaug, it is the start of a battle, first to understand what is happening to the boy, and then to help him get the care and resources he needs. The family suddenly find themselves in a lifechanging, challenging situation. There is a long and painful process shared in this novel written with deep human insight and love in the year Daniel turns 10 years old.
Albert Bonniers: Sweden.
Wundor Editions: World English.
The Brage Prize for A Tale of Terrible Times for best Norwegian fiction in 2017
The “Nesehorn” (Rhinoceros) Prize 2017 awarded by the daily newspaper Klassekampen.