The Last Survivor Is Dead
Nominated for the Norwegian Book Prize (The Brage Prize) 2021
Nominated for the P2 Listeners’ Prize 2021
One of the 5 best Norwegian fiction titles of the year (Dagsavisen)
In April 1942 the young student Isak Meyer is forced to flee to Sweden. A few months earlier he and everybody in his family were forced to have a “J” in their passport. Isak fears the worst. He has to get away.
More than seventy years later, Isak’s grandchild Jonathan is about to celebrate Christmas with his family when he learns that his father has died. Jonathan doesn’t know anything about his Jewish grandfather, but he is soon forced to confront his family story.
Isak’s fate also has consequences for Louise and Henrik, who find some old photographs and letters hidden in the floor while refurbishing the apartment. In unexpected ways, the story becomes decisive for their own relationship.
At the same time the young mother Tessa has her big secret uncovered in a novel. The same novel is also a story about the war, and about a mysterious Jewish student who goes under the name of ”M”.
In The Last Survivor Is Dead, the main character never steps forward, but still plays a decisive role in the lives of the other characters. It’s a novel about history, how history is interpreted, how it is narrated and how it continues to live in all of us.