Novel, 136 sider
Design by Martin Lundell
Minnesund, 1998. All of Jonas’ friends have left for the big city to study, including his girlfriend Nina. Jonas has stayed in his hometown to work for a year at the timber mill. He lives with his mother, rents films from the video shop and waits for Nina to call him. One day he catches a girl his age stealing credit cards from the petrol station. Magda is Polish and has been working illegally on some of the local farms, but is left on the streets when work dries up. Since then she has lived alone in a shed on a construction site. Just like Jonas she is stranded in a place where she doesn’t really wish to be, without any friends and plans for the future. Jonas and Magda fall for one another. Their liaison causes friction among the local community and the Polish workers, who already endure a fraught relationship. Is it true that Poles steal from their Norwegian employers? Or have the Norwegians only themselves to thank, allowing their Polish employees to work themselves to the bone for small change? Jonas is caught up in a web of lies, jealousy and judgements, where nobody is free from blame. Your Norwegian is good, I said, I’ve worked here for many summers, she replied. Are you Polish? I asked, What do you think? she replied, I don’t know, you’re so pretty, I blurted out without thinking. And Polish girls can’t be pretty? she asked. That's not what I meant, I said. Good, she said. We drank our coffee, then she made more, and we drank that too. I grew cold after a while, and if I were cold in my lined leather jacket then she certainly must have been cold in her wool jumper shot with holes, so I put my arm around her and held her as best I could. She rested her head on my shoulder and I could smell her hair, and even though it didn’t smell good, it didn’t smell bad either, it smelled of the earth in a way, so I sat there and held her and smelled the earthy smell of her hair until it grew late and I had to leave.