Days in the History of Silence

Lindstrøm, Merethe: Dager i stillhetens historie

Winner of the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize 2012
Winner of The Critic's Award 2011

An elderly woman thinks about her former housekeeper, a woman she and her husband were close to for a period of time, before abruptly dismissing her. Everyone but she and her husband question what happened. The couple has silently agreed to not discuss their past. While he becomes more and more closed up, she tries to break out of the isolation and silence, for instance by speaking to a priest.

The novel is about the love between two people who have made important choices that define their entire existence, just to realize that some things can’t be omitted. The past not only resurfaces, it has been there all along.

Click here to read the Nordic Council jury statement.
Click here to read the Critics' Prize jury statement.

Click here to read the German sample translation.

Click here to read the English sample translation.


Praise for Days in the History of Silence:

‘Something as rare as an author it is essential to read. (…) One of the real finds of this year’s autumn book season.’
Vidar Kvalshaug, Aftenposten 

‘Merethe Lindstrøm shows the suggestive power of a writer who has faith in her material. The result is a little masterpiece of a book (…) It is impressive how Lindstrøm composes a little chamber play, holding a mirror up to an existence so fragile and delicate without having to resort to big words. The language is simple, elegant and pleasing, but the mood is so evocative in its quiet drama. Lindstrøm is well known as a highly polished writer of short stories, but here she comprehensively demonstrates her command of the larger canvas too. (…) Through an elegant, epic technique of cuttings, she creates a textual mosaic of a life that deserves a multitude of readers.’
Silje M. Stavrum Norevik, Dagbladet 

‘With ‘Days in the History of Silence’ Merethe Lindstrøm has written one of this autumn’s best novels. In unobtrusive, elegant and incisive prose, she has produced a drama of everyday life which insinuates itself under the reader’s skin. (…) Merethe Lindstrøm is never ostentatious, and she does not use original metaphors, irony or subtext, instead depending completely on the power of her own subdued, explicit prose. There is therefore an insistent seriousness about this novel that does not fail to leave an impression of great credibility and authenticity.’
Turid Larsen, Dagsavisen - Click here for the complete review in English.

‘Stylish and clever. Merethe Lindstrøm is not only an outstanding, but also an intelligent, stylist. (…) With ‘Days in the History of Silence’ she takes a stylistic step further in the methodology of depicting human fates, and this novel is one of the best she has written to date.’
Margunn Vikingstad, Dag og Tid 

‘… an intimate and intense narrative about losing oneself through losing other people. (…) One of this year’s most memorable novels.’
5/6, Sindre Hovdenakk, Verdens Gang 

‘Merethe Lindstrøm’s new novel ‘Days in the History of Silence’ is an unusually good account of important matters; matters we cannot keep silent about if things are to go well for us in life. (…) Merethe Lindstrøm’s book is exceptionally well written, wise and beautiful in its approach to the problem of concealment and the lack of sociability in old age.’
Leif Ekle, NRK P2 

First published: Aschehoug, 2011
Merethe Lindstrøm: Biography and bibliography                                            

Rights sold to

Language Foreign publisher
American English Other Press
British English Other Press
Bulgarian Knigopis Ltd.
Croatian Fidipid
Danish Tiderne Skifter
Estonian Eesti Raamat
Faeroese Sprotin
German Matthes & Seitz
Hungarian Noran Libro Kiadó
Icelandic Draumsyn
Macedonian Bata Press
Malayalam Megha Books
Portuguese Arkheion
Serbian Geopoetika
Swedish Weyler Förlag

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