Encircling by Carl Frode Tiller


Carl Frode Tiller

Originally written in Nynorsk, New Norwegian, I was unsure how much of the jilted style was due to translation, and how much reflected this language and the Norwegian lifestyle. Odd beats aside, the tale is bleak at times, funny in others, and is an unsettling mixture of odd characters, strong emotions, family lies and hidden truths. Told through monologues and letters, I liked some people better than others in this hard but intriguing read.

I look at her, the narrow shoulders, the gnarled, skinny body pulled out of shape by years of hard work and illness. She’s not that old, but she looks old, worn out. Two beats, then I feel the guilt welling up again, don’t want to feel guilty, but here it comes nonetheless. I glance to the side. Take a breath and let it out again, silently, sigh inaudibly, then I turn to face Mum again. Have to try to rise above her self-pity now, swallow my irritation and give her the comfort she’s asking for, have to be big enough to do that. One beat. I open my mouth, am all set to apologize, but I don’t, can’t bring myself to do it, can’t allow her to carry on like this much longer.
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