Original title: Oneiron
Author: Laura Lindstedt
Genre: Literary Fiction
Seven women, all from different countries, stuck in a post-mortem limbo from which there is no escape – except through words and stories
Seven women meet in a white, undefined space seconds after their deaths. Time, as we understand it, has ceased to exist, and all bodily sensations seem to have disappeared.
None of the women can remember what happened to her, or how she got there. Performance artist Shlomith from New York, chief accountant Polina from Moscow, heart transplant patient Rosa Imaculada from Brazil, upper-class Nina from Marseilles who is expecting twins, Wlbgis from the Netherlands, who suffers from throat cancer, Senegalese Maimuna, who dreams of a career as a model, and Austrian teenager, Ulrike. They don’t know each other. They don’t know why they are there – or where they are. In turn they try to remember, to piece together the fragments of their lives, their identities, their lost loves, and to pinpoint the moment they left their former lives behind.
Lindstedt plays with genres from essay to poetry, transitioning from humour to rage – while asking her reader to contemplate the question of death’s inevitability and what follows it. As also in Lindstedt’s acclaimed debut novel Scissors, Oneiron addresses the challenges of communication on several levels.
Lindstedt’s artistic playfulness with the conventions of language, style, and prose makes the novel linguistically refined and impressive. The result is a work of multiple voices and multiple layers, in which modern expressions also assume something brilliantly classical. It is as if the author is striving to reach the infinite small details – the fractals – as she writes whole worlds within the space of the blink of an eye. The white reality of Oneiron, a blank page, is filled with living stories that celebrate human fantasy, with the possibilities that literature affords, and with uncompromising artistic work.
Nordic Council Literature Prize jury
FINLAND: Teos (orig.)
CZECH REPUBLIC: ARGO spol. s r. o.
DENMARK: Rosinante & Co
HUNGARY: Scolar Kiado
ITALY: Elliot Edizioni
LITHUANIA: Versus Aureus
ROMANIA: Editura Paralela 45
SPAIN: Armaenia Editorial
TURKEY: Everest Yayınları
WORLD ENGLISH: Oneworld Publications