22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Marianne Kaurin

Portrait Marianne Kaurin
© Studio Vest

Norwegian children’s and young adult author Marianne Kaurin, born in 1974, studied at the Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books in Oslo and made her debut in 2012 with the young adult novel »Nœrmere høst« (Eng. »Almost Autumn«, 2017).
The story is about a Jewish family who did not leave Norway during the Nazi occupation because they, like many others, could not imagine being betrayed by their neighbors. Eventually, they are arrested and the family experiences the brutality of the regime firsthand. Kaurin tells this story not only from the victims’ point of view, but also from the perpetrators’, and from the perspective of those who resisted the atrocities. Her novel was awarded the Uprisen prize for Best Youth Book 2013 and the Debutant Prize from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. The jury underlined its decision by stating: »With its extraordinary language and its nuanced nature, Kaurin has created a political narrative that in its timeliness points far beyond the Second World War. Her well-phrased sentences and her change of perspective between the characters in the novel enliven the genre of the historical youth novel.« Kaurin’s next book »Deres Majestet « (2016; tr: Your Majesty) is about the first love: Nine-year-old Emil’s life is pretty normal until a new student comes into his class, Florine. She ropes him into a game where Florine is the princess and Emil is her servant. But after a while, Emil begins to ask himself if it is even possible for a princess to fall in love with a servant. In her latest book »Syden« (2018), written for children aged eleven to thirteen, Kaurin tells the story of a sixth grader who lies to her classmates by saying that she will be spending the upcoming summer vacation in the south. In fact, her mother has no money for such trips. In order to protect her lie, Ina no longer leaves her room, but is discovered at the window by a classmate who lives nearby. He also couldn’t go on vacation because of his penniless and alcoholic father. He is able to coax Ina out of hiding and does everything to make her dreams come true. The two children redecorate a dilapidated caretaker’s apartment into the southern vacation they wanted: complete with photos as wallpaper and a wading pool. Kaurin’s story of friendship, love, and growing up is told from Ina’s perspective and hopes to reach out and speak to children who live on the margins of society. The book was awarded the Lynx of the Month by »Die Zeit« and Radio Bremen in 2020 and was nominated for the German Youth Literature Award in the children’s book category in 2021.
The author lives in Oslo.