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