As True as I Am Real / The Blue Room

Ørstavik, Hanne: Like sant som jeg er virkelig

Johanne, the narrator in the novel "Like sant som jeg er virkelig" is a young psychologystudent who lives with her mother. One morning she awakes to find that she has been locked up in her bedroom. Two weeks earlier she has entered her first love-affair. In monologue Johanne recapitulates the last weeks' events, at the same time as the reader is shown how difficult it is to decide what is real, when one's language is not founded in personal emotional experience.

Praise for As True as I Am Real / The Blue Room:

"wonderfully creepy … written by someone with real literary and psychological intelligence … the author knows what she's doing. Certain novels are themselves like locked rooms, and exploit that claustrophobia to maximum advantage; this is one of them … The temptation here, I'd imagine, would be to lay things on a bit thick: the mother would be more deranged and vengeful, the daughter more damaged. But Ørstavik is cannier than that"
The Guardian

"Establishing a new parent-child dynamic is vital; and Norwegian writer Hanne Ørstavik's haunting novel will act as a warning to everyone not to regress into old, interdependent ways ... Johanne wakes to find that her bedroom door has been locked. Will she find a way out – or, indeed, choose not to? The intense and challenging denouement will ensure you finish the novel in one sitting"
The Independent

"The Blue Room is a highly unusual, coolly daring psychological thriller that explores emotional pain and indifference with an unsettling detachment ... Ørstavik boldly ventures inside an ordinary psyche. The result is unnerving"
The Irish Times

"This is the first of the Norwegian novelist Hanne Ørstavik's works to appear in English – a long overdue recognition, given the lithe psychological intellect here on display ... Ørstavik's descriptions of Johanne's despair at her own physical reality are brilliantly tender ... The Blue Room is also an impressive feat of selective narration ... This is a work of chilling, masterly control" 
Times Literary Supplement

First published: 1999, Forlaget Oktober

Translations: Albanian (Skanderbeg, Tirana), British English (The Blue Room published by Peirene Press Ltd, London), Danish (Athene, Copenhagen), Dutch ( Waarheid published by De Geus, Breda), Finnish (Like, Helsinki), French ( Un amour sous clef published by Le Reflet), German (Deutscher TaschenbuchVerlag, Munich), Hebrew (Schocken, Tel Aviv), Swedish ( Lika sant som jag är verklig published by Anamma, Gothenburg)

Hanne Ørstavik:   Biography and bibliography

Rights sold to

Language Foreign publisher
Albanian Skanderbeg
British English Peirene Press
Czech Doplnek
Danish Athene
Dutch De Geus
Finnish Like
French Le Reflet
German Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag
Hebrew Schocken
Romanian Casa Cartii de Stiinta
Serbian Arete
Swedish Anamma

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