Heivoll
2015 Longlist

Before I Burn

Translated from the original Norwegian by Don Bartlett
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

In the late 1970s, a pyromaniac runs amok in a close-knit community in rural Norway. Homes are burnt to a cinder, and panic spreads, as neighbours wonder who amongst them could be wreaking such fear and anguish. And slowly, ineluctably, a mother comes to realize that her son is lighting the fires.

Born into this time of chaos, Gaute Heivoll is indelibly linked to the arsonist who caused such destruction. By juxtaposing the pyromaniac’s story with his own, Heivoll explores memory, loss and the agonizing separation of child from parent that is a rite of passage for us all. Written in fluid, luminous prose, Before I Burn is a literary sensation, by the foremost Norwegian writer of his generation.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Gaute
Heivoll

Gaute Heivoll made his debut in 2002 with the prose collection Liten dansende gutt (Small Dancing Boy), and since then has written poetry, children’s books, short stories and novels. Heivoll was recipient of the 2003 Tiden-prisen Prize. In 2006 he was the Norwegian representative to the Literary Festival Project Scritture Giovanni and his short-story ‘Dr Gordeau’ was translated into English, German and Italian.

Gaute Heivoll made his debut in 2002 with the prose collection Liten dansende gutt (Small Dancing Boy), and since then has written poetry, children’s books, short stories and novels. Heivoll was recipient of the 2003 Tiden-prisen Prize. In 2006 he was the Norwegian representative to the Literary Festival Project Scritture Giovanni and his short-story ‘Dr Gordeau’ was translated into English, German and Italian.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Don
Bartlett

Don Bartlett is the translator behind some of the most read and talked about Norwegian books of recent years. From Jo Nesbø’s successful crime books to the titanic introspection of Karl Ove Knausgård and his seminal My Struggle series. Bartlett has worked with some of the biggest names in Norwegian literature and has helped make their books into international best-sellers. We caught up with him at the National Centre for Writing in Norwich’s Dragon Hall to chat with him about his career as a translator, the runaway success of Knausgård’s My Struggle, the recent rise in Norwegian literature and just how difficult it is to translate dialect into English.

Don Bartlett is the translator behind some of the most read and talked about Norwegian books of recent years. From Jo Nesbø’s successful crime books to the titanic introspection of Karl Ove Knausgård and his seminal My Struggle series. Bartlett has worked with some of the biggest names in Norwegian literature and has helped make their books into international best-sellers. We caught up with him at the National Centre for Writing in Norwich’s Dragon Hall to chat with him about his career as a translator, the runaway success of Knausgård’s My Struggle, the recent rise in Norwegian literature and just how difficult it is to translate dialect into English.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Before I Burn is an interesting combination of story based on real events and fiction. Excellently written and compelling, breathtakingly dark.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/04/2013
Country
Norway
Original Language
Norwegian
Author
Publisher
Atlantic Books
Translator
Don Bartlett
Translation
Translated from the original Norwegian by Don Bartlett

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