Edward van de Vendel er aktuell med boken Lykkefinneren. Boken er en av bøkene i Slash-serien som er en unik serie hvor skjønnlitteratur og dokumentarisme kombineres. Her blogger Edward om boken, serien og litt til:
Some places tell you you’re home – even if the place itself is not in your country. That’s what I feel when I’m in Norway, although I was born and raised in The Netherlands. Some languages sound natural in your ears, as if they belong to you, even if you were not born in their tongue. That’s what Norwegian sounds to me, although I speak Dutch all the time. Already as a teenager I fell in love with Norway and the Norwegian language and music, and when I actually met Norwegians that infatuation was blazing even more. So when a few years back my first picture book was translated in Norwegian (En million sommerfugler, with the awesome Carll Cneut) I was very, very happy. And as my second picture book came out (Duen som ikke kunne stupe, with the just as awesome Alain Verster), I was even happier. Both books, by the way, were wonderfully translated by Bodil Engen.
And now my novel came out. Lykkefinneren (just as wonderfully translated, this time by Guro Dimmen). So how more thrilled can I be? Lykkefinneren was a cooperation with Anoush Elman. He told me his personal story – growing up in Afghanistan and being forced to wander over the world and grow up as a refugee in Europe – and he let me make a novel out of it. The book also was the start of a whole series, called SLASH. And so it seems, it’s the start of a Norwegian SLASH-series as well. SLASH is a series of books for young adults. Every book is a novel, written by a well-known, acclaimed and literary author, based on the true life story of a young person between 15-23 years old. The author and the youngster cooperate intensively, hence the word ‘slash’ (/). Both names are mentioned on the cover (for the youngsters often a pseudonym, if their story is too delicate). In Holland the series started in early 2008, and up till now eleven novels have been published. At least three more novels are planned.
We came up with the idea for several reasons. By collaborating closely with one boy or girl the authors show their ‘solidarity’ with young adults nowadays. By basing the novel on actual life-stories we attract readers that like to read ‘real’ stories. By asking literary authors we assure the books to be real novels, more than just ‘journalistic’ books. By asking youngsters that are not older than 23 years old, and by trying to find important stories, we hope to somehow present a reflection on nowadays society. Big words, but the main goal is: making really good novels, that drag you into their story, that tell you to start reading – now.
Anoush and his family
For those who have read Anoush’s story in Lykkefinneren: hopefully you liked our book. For some people the book has a somewhat surprising ending. At the time, we couldn’t make a different ending than this one. The feeling you probably got by reading the ending is exactly the feeling Anoush and his family were living in at the time. Now things have changed – the book was published some years ago. I am still seeing Anoush (who is now 23 years old) and his family a lot, they still live in The Netherlands, but if you are really curious how they are doing now, you should erhm.. just ask. You can write to Cappelen Damm, the publishing house (use this address: Nicolai.firstname.lastname@example.org) and they will forward your mail to me. Du kan gjerne skrive på norsk, because I do understand the language a bit.
Along with Lykkefinneren, another Dutch SLASH-book was translated. It’s Latino king, the dazzling novel by writer Bibi Dumon Tak and her co-writer Castel. I hope you enjoyed it – I did. A lot. The great thing about Cappelen Damm, my Norwegian publishers, is that they are planning a Norwegian SLASH-series. So… in a while you will be reading originally Norwegian SLASH-books, written by some of your best authors and co-hosted by very special Norwegian young people, who have an interesting, amazing, awesome, exciting story to tell! I, for me, can’t wait to hear more about all the plans. Hope you like the idea as well. So, all in all – get why Norway is a place I feel home? Hope to see you all, somewhere, somehow, and hear your ideas about literature, books for young people, SLASH and homes-that-are-not-your-home-but-they-sure-feel-like-it.
All the best,
Edward van de Vendel