NORA, OR BURN OSLO BURN
(Nora eller Brinn Oslo brinn)
How jealous can a person be? How often can you look at a stranger’s Instagram? How much menstrual pain do you have to endure? Is Norway the heart of paradise?
Johanna is together with Emil. Emil has an ex called Nora. Nora is everything Johanna is not: beautiful, Norwegian, a social media darling. When by chance Johanna finds out that Emil and Nora are going to meet up, she conducts a thorough investigation of Nora via Instagram — an investigation that seems to have no end. Meanwhile, Johanna’s body is being consumed from within, and not just by envy. She has a constant piercing pain in her womb.
In Nora, or Burn Oslo Burn, an autofictional novel full of black comedy, Johanna Frid turns her sharp eye to two of our time’s most serious female ailments: Instagram and endometriosis.
“This is unexpectedly funny. And that’s for two reasons. First of all, Johanna Frid knows how to write. Goddamn, she can wield a sentence! She mixes long and short clauses, slides between writerly precision and conversational nonchalance … And then she pushes hard at the tender points, broadening and deepening her novel. It grows into something larger, so that praise like ‘the voice of a generation’ seems feeble.”
Dagens Nyheter / SWE
“With her adamant search for the truth and her singular treatment of language, Johanna Frid brings new energy to contemporary Swedish literature.”
Göteborgsposten / SWE
“…an unusual literary talent is required to successfully unite this type of wit with an otherwise dark story. I hope it’s not an exaggeration to proclaim that this is the beginning of a great authorship.”
Expressen / SWE
“The book is often funny, written in a tone that’s at once raw and exposing…Johanna Frid has written a daring, poignant novel about our time.”
Upsala Tidning / SWE
“Frid shines a new light on reality—not as it should be, but as it is. And with her portrayal of emotional suffering that at times reaches Wertherian proportions, Frid dislodges something in the Swedish contemporary literature landscape. The dams of self-restraint have collapsed, we are past the era of detachment and indifference: this emotional eruption is crispy in all its messiness. There’s no doubt about it: this is a brilliant novel.”
Sydsvenskan / SWE
“The language in Nora or Burn Oslo, Burn is unique to the young generation of authors. Here, I find a bite, a sharpness and a unique voice I didn’t know I had been longing for. I look very much forward to reading more from Johanna Frid.”
Sveriges Radio / SWE
“Johanna Frid’s debut was in poetry and that is evident in this jewel made from disturbed accusations, assumptions, and reckless associative thoughts. All drawn in a polished language that is brightened by Danish color … Frid is a joy to read.”
Aftonbladet / SWE
“beside Marguerite Duras Ten-Thirty on a Summer Night, this is the most engaging work I have read about jealousy … Nora or Burn Oslo Burn is a novel written in a sparkling, poetic language that takes the reader by storm. It successfully takes a tragicomic approach to some of our biggest themes, at times bringing the reader to laughter with surprising turns of language. I am already looking forward to Frid’s next novel.”
Hufvudstadsbladet / FI