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 an acute story on being the parents of a disabled child, 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. It is a story about the fine line between accepting and giving up, and a moving story about how love can strike you down.
As a toddler, Daniel loses his speech and changes his personality, marking the start of a battle for his mother, Olaug. First, to understand what is happening to the boy, and then to help him get the care and resources he needs. The long and painful process is shared in this novel, and written with deep human insight and love, in the year Daniel turns ten.
Swedish: Albert Bonniers
Georgian: Academic Press of Georgia
Serbian: Trecí Trg
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.