Shortlisted for the Tarjei Vesaas First Book Award While a young woman undergoes heart surgery, she starts seeing images of the ocean, as if her body is lowered down to the depths of the blue whale, where the luminescent jellyfish Periphylla periphylla can stand still for hours, and the pressure from the water weighs several…
Shortlisted for the Tarjei Vesaas First Book Award
While a young woman undergoes heart surgery, she starts seeing images of the ocean, as if her body is lowered down to the depths of the blue whale, where the luminescent jellyfish Periphylla periphylla can stand still for hours, and the pressure from the water weighs several tons. In concrete, visual prose, Sølberg explores the mythical, life-giving, threatening and enticing ocean, with its myriad of creatures, enigmas and vulnerable life.
Seismic Shock is a novel where events in the past and present are woven together into a story of the ocean as a condition for our existence and as a threatening, dangerous place.
Praise for Seismic Shock:
“A novel that explores the passages between man and history of science. The personal history of human experience stands side by side with natural history, geophysics and biological facts (especially about the sea, marine organisms, fish and whales), making this a both liberating and informative read. The reader “rests” in poeticized facts. It is a quiet, demanding , performative, beautiful book Sølberg has written. The climate crisis and the vulnerability of the individual, the parallels between man and nature, runs and digs furrows throughout the novel. Sølberg calls out death and longing and uses ocean and waves to articulate the fragile line between the permanent and the decomposable.”
Tarjei Vesaas’ First Book Award, Jury statement
“That a young debut writer throws herself at such a dizzying task is astounding and wonderful! Perhaps it’s books like these that will save Norwegian literature from privates and ordinary family dramas? … Seismic Shock stands out as remarkable literary debut, knowledgeable, beautiful and inspiring … an outstanding example of how beauty and complexity is crucial in literature”
“Sara Sølberg’s little work of art of a debut, Seismic Shock, gets its title from a geophysical method to explore the ocean floor … Sølberg doesn’t shout her warnings. But her whispering is so intense and beautiful that we are forced to listen.”
“Compared to the apocalyptic visions that meet us in everything from blockbusters to parts of contemporary art ant eco poetry, Sølberg offers a more softly spoken version of environmental changes caused by human activitites … Seismic Shock stands out as an unusually idea-drive debut with a sharp eye for fragile Connections”
“Sølberg explores the body and the sea, a body in the world and a world in the body”
Klassekampen, Books of the year 2016
“Seismic Shock contain a meeting between facts and fiction, but without being exhibitionism or self-centredness … It offers large amounts of knowledge. It’s not biographical, but informative with scientific authority, and it’s topical. It places one simple, tiny life in a greater context”
“There’s something enormously attractive about a book which is so uncompromising that it doesn’t even need to put the title and the author’s name on the front cover … Sølberg has an written an ambitious and singular first novel. It can among other things serve as a counter-example to all those who think that new Norwegian literature is all the same, or that young people only write about their own navles … unusually confident and promising”