I Refuse
2016 Longlist

I Refuse

Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

I refuse to compromise.

I refuse to forgive.

I refuse to forget.

‘Tommy. How long have we been friends.’

‘All of our lives,’ Tommy said.

‘I can’t remember us ever not being friends. When would that have been.’ Jim said. ‘I think it could last the rest of our lives,’ he said carefully, in a low voice. ‘Don’t you think.’

‘It will last if we want it to. It depends on us. We can be friends for as long as we want to.’

Tommy’s mother has gone. She walked out into the snow one night, leaving him and his sisters with their violent father. Without his best friend Jim, Tommy would be in trouble. But Jim has challenges of his own which will disrupt their precious friendship.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Per
Petterson

Per Petterson was born in 1952 and was a librarian and bookseller before he published his first work, a volume of short stories, in 1987. Since then he has written three novels which have established his reputation as one of Norway’s best fiction writers. To Siberia and In the Wake are also published by Harvill in English translation.

Per Petterson was born in 1952 and was a librarian and bookseller before he published his first work, a volume of short stories, in 1987. Since then he has written three novels which have established his reputation as one of Norway’s best fiction writers. To Siberia and In the Wake are also published by Harvill in English translation.

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

The story is told in one day in present time, but the story takes you back to the growth and fall of a friendship that ended 35 years ago. The main characters mother has left the family, leaving four children with their violent father. The boy is dependant on his best friends support, but his friend has challenges of his own which disrupts their precious friendship.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
23/10/2014
Country
Norway
Original Language
Norwegian
Author
Publisher
Harvill Secker
Translator
Don Bartlett
Translation
Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

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