Siss and Unn

Siss and Unn

Inger Bråtveit

Original title: Siss og Unn
Publisher: Forlaget Oktober, 2008
Pages: 175 pages

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Siss and Unn is a poetic novel about the fragile friendship between the two young girls, and Mummy Big, whose sorrows and loneliness eat her up inside. It is composed of short chapters ending with an omniscient narrator voice, akin to a choir commenting on the story. Bråtveit weaves together elements inspired from the Greek tragedies in a dialogue with Terje Vesaa’s The Ice Palace, in a truly unique style. Through narrative voices, she intertwines distinct writing techniques – old and new, biblical speak and psalms, Swedish and New Norwegian, cultural references and allusions to other literature – creating thoughtful reflections and an original novel. When merged with the complex psychology of the characters, it becomes a feminist perspective that is at once intense and different.

Siss and Unn is a conscious and intelligent novel about mothers and daughters, through survival and hardships.


Nominated to the Critics Prize in 2008

“A burning, intense novel of crystal and ice […] sad and beautiful.”


Inger Bråtveit shows what a conscious, stylish and brilliant author she is. And one could be tempted to say: What a brave author!

Bergens Tidende

”A solid novel about writing your own script and daring to improvise in your role […] The book’s textual universe is fragmented and bleeding all through the novel.


Inger Bråtveit

Portrett inger farger
Photo: Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

Inger Bråtveit is one of Norway’s most exciting younger authors and the recipient of several awards and grants, including the New Norwegian Literature Prize and the Bjørnson Scholarship. She debuted as an author in 2002 with the novel Mouth Towards a Frozen Fjord. Her second novel, Siss and Unn, was nominated for the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature in 2008.
Bråtveit published her third novel Alice A4 in 2015, nominated for the Young Readers’ Critics’ Prize. The Art of Swimming (2018) is a hybrid novel applauded for its wise and beautiful prose. Starweed is her fifth novel.

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