It’s the warmest summer on record. Silja is working as a gardener at Oslo’s Botanical Gardens, and fears that the scorching summer is a warning of serious changes in nature. Things are changing in her apartment too: At night, her bedroom is invaded by insects in their thousands, while mould and micro-organisms grow in the dark. Over the course of a few intense days she slips into a state in which the world is swallowed up by ants, worms, moths and other organisms. When she finally wakes up as a human being again, she finds herself in another reality – a hospital where her experiences are considered sick and unreal, and where nobody believes what she says. Where has she been? Who is she now? Something has changed, yet everything carries on as before.
Sarabande is a novel about a person and a world in crisis, about our ability to feel part of nature and responsibility for it in the face of a human-made threat. How do you continue to live as a human in a world on the edge of ecological collapse, knowing that your own species is to blame and that everything could break down again at any time?