Nominated by:

Aleph - Stavanger Bibliotek, Norway

Publisher of nominated edition:

Harvill Secker, UK

I Refuse

Per Petterson      

Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

2016 Longlist

I refuse to compromise.

I refuse to forgive.

I refuse to forget.

‘Tommy. How long have we been friends.’

‘All of our lives,’ Tommy said.

‘I can’t remember us ever not being friends. When would that have been.’ Jim said. ‘I think it could last the rest of our lives,’ he said carefully, in a low voice. ‘Don’t you think.’

‘It will last if we want it to. It depends on us. We can be friends for as long as we want to.’

Tommy’s mother has gone. She walked out into the snow one night, leaving him and his sisters with their violent father. Without his best friend Jim, Tommy would be in trouble. But Jim has challenges of his own which will disrupt their precious friendship.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Per Petterson was born in Oslo in 1952 and worked for several years as an unskilled labourer and a bookseller. He made his literary breakthrough in 2003 with the prizewinning novel Out Stealing Horses, which has been published in forty-nine languages and won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Librarian’s Comments

The story is told in one day in present time, but the story takes you back to the growth and fall of a friendship that ended 35 years ago. The main characters mother has left the family, leaving four children with their violent father. The boy is dependant on his best friends support, but his friend has challenges of his own which disrupts their precious friendship.

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