Criminal and Punishment
Nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2023
‘I have decided to write about him’.
The writer of these words is Katrine, a Norwegian author, who has lived in Paris for the past ten years. ‘Him’ refers to the man who raped her three years earlier, late one night in the street outside of her apartment. Nobody, neither her family nor her boyfriend, wants her to write about him – she doesn’t even want to do it herself.
While she waits for her case to come before the court, she and her boyfriend look for a place together, in a city that feels more alien to her than ever before. She reads all she can about crime scenes, criminals and the crimes themselves. And she writes. It feels like a punishment, that she has been sentenced to do this. He has become the main character in her life.
Through direct, searching prose, Criminal and Punishment describes the period following on from a rape, in an open, confronting and thoughtful way. It is also a passionate, literary polemic against our narratives of victim and offender, guilt and punishment.
From the Nordic Council Literature Prize nomination statement:
“[A] work about the aftermath of violence that is comprehensive, monologic and uncompromising […] You don’t often come across literature with such a harsh, undisguised rejection of forgiveness and pardon as matters of ethics and law.[…] Wielding impressive literary control and perspicacity rather than gentleness, anger rather than introspective reserve, Nedrejord writes out her indictment […] a rich work which succeeds in being contemporary and current while bringing to life a connection with the past.”
Full statement here.