This Is G
Nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2022
G is a valley that flattens out on both sides. At the bottom of G, there is a large, brown building where the drunks used to live, In the middle and out towards the edges there are simple houses intended for workers and employees. At the top is the forest with the small lake.
It was her father’s father who built the house that this story revolves around. Here, her father grew up, and here she grew up herself. The house has two floors. At the top there once lived a preacher, but the awakening that once washed over G is long forgotten.
Her father disappeared many years ago. Now her mother is gone too, and the main character is considering dividing up the property and selling off. She meets with the local authories and with an architect. Lines are drawn on a map, property boundaries are measured. It doesn’t look good.
This Is G is a novel about the force that pulls at all things. It’s about sinking, but also about floating up again and appearing in new forms. With great sensitivity and a peculiar, low-key humour, Inghill Johansen gives literary shape to the dizzying feeling that nothing is solid enough to hold on to.,
From the Nordic Council Literate Prize nomination jury statement:
“Inghill Johansen’s work is not the most discussed in contemporary Norwegian literature despite, all of it being of exceptionally high quality […] this year’s book further develops the motifs we know from her earlier work – the fate of her father, the significance of place, the situation of the self – and does this quite masterfully […] Unlike most writers, Johansen manages to unite the realistic gaze with a humility that suggests that the world does not depend on our presence in it in order to be. She dares to approach the seemingly trivial such that the presence of things is imbued with a kind of luminous mystery. Johansen seems to be saying that even what is most insignificant and seeming inconsequential can steer us in directions where we have no sight of ourselves. THIS IS G is a high point in Johansen’s oeuvre and in Norwegian literature more generally.”