I RefusePetterson, Per: Jeg nekter
Winner of the Booksellers' Prize 2012
Nominated to the Youth Critics' Prize 2012
Nominated to the P2 Listeners' Prize 2012
Two men meet by accident on a bridge one early morning. Once they were best friends – now Tommy and Jim haven’t seen each other in 35 years. Back then, Tommy and his sister were left by their mother, and later by their abusive father. Jim, who lived alone with his religious mother, went to high school and became a socialist. Then one winter, Jim started to doubt whether he was deserving of the friendship. And now, Jim is standing on the bridge, fishing, when Tommy drives by in his expensive, new Mercedes. We follow both men during the course of the fateful day that follows.
Per Petterson’s outstanding new novel is broader in scope than many of his previous novels, but as powerful and moving as anything he has written.
Praise for I REFUSE:
"Every sentence in Petterson's writing is carved in stone as if it had never been written before, and that is the criterion for brilliance in a time when language is quickly worn out … I Refuse is a significant contemporary novel"
"A great novel in a powerful body of work … touching and supremely understated"
5/6 stars (Berlingske Tidende, Denmark)
"Brilliant … belongs to the premier league of Scandinavian writers … Per Petterson writes in a subdued and concise manner about life's most desperate situations. To the great satisfaction of the reader"
5/6 stars (Politiken, Denmark)
"Once again Petterson confirms that he is one of the premier realist novelists in Scandinavia. Tender to the bone. But the darkness and melancholia is always present … through it all we hear Per Petterson's own characteristic voice, deep, vulnerable, insisting … you never get closer to a boy's mind"
(Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark)
“A masterpiece … at least as good as Out Stealing Horses; a remarkably good novel; a masterful novel: Intimate, shocking, demanding, raw ... the last meeting between father and son must be the most moving of its kind in Norwegian literature ever."
"A beautiful and sad and compassionate and relentless text ... it confirms Per Petterson's status as one of Norway's very, very best novelists today. Within the reliable and grand beauty of the language, lies a promise of reconciliation that makes the confusion and sorrow in the protagonist's life all the more difficult for the reader to bear."
"Per Petterson has done it again: His new novel has a dark glow, but radiates light ... Reading Per Petterson is a joy ... Petterson shows us, again, what a magnificent storyteller he is."
“Superb, intense and powerful…. If Out Stealing Horses was a masterpiece, well then Per Petterson supasses himself with this book …. The novel is as life itself; wonderful, painful and open.”
(Fædrelandsvennen, 6/6 stars)
“with an irresistible power to move the reader”
(Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, P2)
“Petterson opens up wounds and shows us how we are condemned to make choices, all the time. He does this in an unpretentious, empathetic, but also powerful way … The form is even more distinct and finely crafted. But what I think is most characteristic is his ability to choose key scenes, describe incidents that prevail, both as painful wounds and as crossroads in a person’s life”
(Dag og tid)
“Pitch dark, poetic, raw and beautiful. Petterson is a must read … Petterson portrays people we will never manage to shake off [in this] understated little masterpiece”
“an unusually well-composed and artfully crafted work … The narrative structure is superb … Petterson’s greatest strength as a writer, now as before, is his ability to express and give literary shape to the experiences of ordinary people.”
“Petterson’s ambitious portrait of people who turn away from violence, from life, from death, is as powerful as anything I’ve read for a long time … heartbreaking … The novel evokes a powerful urge to know more about the people, to read again … maybe it’s that simple, that Petterson’s supreme gift, for which he is recognized world wide, consists of writing about those things that are the most simple, those things that are the most difficult to describe well, the vulnerable, close relationship between father, mother and child, between sister and brother, between friends?”
“The magic of the story lies in the way it appears more authentic than reality … In a masterful way, Petterson succeeds in keeping his nerve and his focus even when narrators, places and times suddenly and surprisingly change. It’s these seamless transitions that make the fates we read about rise from the paper, of course in combination with a rock solid and elegant prose”
First published: 2012, Forlaget Oktober
Rights sold to
|American English||Graywolf Press|
|British English||Harvill Secker|