Winner of the Havmann Prize 2019
Transformation is a novel about returning to everyday life after a brutal rape.
K. is a young, Norwegian writer living in Paris. Early one morning, walking home alone after a night out with friends, she is assaulted and raped outside her own house. We follow her in the hours, days and weeks after the events as she deals with the experience and meets the institutionalized procedures. After spending a few months in Oslo, surrounded by close friends and family, she returns to Paris and tries to resume her normal life.
K. has often made untraditional choices, driven by an open attitude and adventurousness. She has travelled alone, met new people, learned new languages. She thinks about her life in the same way as the stories she writes: She is the one driving the events, giving meaning to what happens. But the brutal assault is an event she herself hasn’t chosen, and it forces her into a story she doesn’t want to be part of, into a language she doesn’t want to use.
In a brutal, candid and urgent way, Transformation tells the story of a shattering experience, while finding surprising connections to bureaucracy, language and writing. It is a brilliantly composed novel, written with wisdom and warmth.