Longlist, National Book Awards 2019 for Translated Literature
Vigdis Hjorth is the author of over a dozen prize-winning and bestselling novels. Will and Testament sold over 150,000 copies in Norway and has received several awards, including the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize, as well as being nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. More about this author >
Charlotte Barslund translates Scandinavian novels and plays. Recent novels translated include the Arctic crime novels The Girl Without Skin and Cold Fear by Mads Peder Nordbo, Resin by Ane Riel, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Petrona Award, and A House in Norway by Vigdis Hjorth, which was longlisted for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award. More about this author >
When a dispute over her parents’ will grows bitter, Bergljot is drawn back into the orbit of the family she fled twenty years before. Her mother and father have decided to leave two island summer houses to her sisters, disinheriting the two eldest siblings from the most meaningful part of the estate. To outsiders, it is a quarrel about property and favouritism. But Bergljot, who has borne a horrible secret since childhood, understands the gesture as something very different—a final attempt to suppress the truth and a cruel insult to the grievously injured.
Will and Testament is a lyrical meditation on trauma and memory, as well as a furious account of a woman’s struggle to survive and be believed. Vigdis Hjorth’s novel became a controversial literary sensation in Norway and has been translated into twenty languages.