Tonight, Beate Grimsrud has been awarded the Brage Prize 2020 for the novel “I suggest we wake up” which was published just three months before she died on 1 July this year.
This is the first time an author has received the Brage Prize after his death, and the Brage jury writes in its justification for this year’s best novel that it “holds everything one hopes to be between two binders when opening a new book.”
Beate Grimsrud got to experience being hailed with dice roll 6 in VG and several other media for the novel “I suggest we wake up” when it came out in April. She also got to experience reaching the top of the bestseller lists. On July 1, she died after a period of illness at just 57 years old.
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– She got to experience the success the book had when it came out, and we are very happy about that. For her, it was so important to be read, to reach out – and therefore she would also like this. She had thought that now she wanted even more readers, says her brother Bjørne Grimsrud to VG.
He says that the family feels both pride and sadness today.
– We are fantastically happy and proud that she receives the award, at the same time as we feel a longing and sadness. She always talked about publishing a new book like sending a new child out into the world. You never quite knew how it would go, but with her latest novel she reached far, says Bjørne Grimsrud.
Check out the other Brage Prize winners at the bottom of the case!
In May, he and his family sent several pictures of the book on top of the best-selling shelves in Norwegian bookstores to Beate, who lived in Stockholm. Previously, Grimsrud had won the critics’ favor, won the August Prize and been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize several times (for “A fool free” and “Sneaking past an ax”), but did not reach the top of the bestseller lists.
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– She liked it very much, we talked about all the positive reviews and that the readers wanted the book. It’s good to think about today. She had worked for several years and very hard with the drug. She was a writer who was concerned that what was to be conveyed should be an experience, says Grimsrud, who thinks the Brage jury has agreed with this:
“The winning novel is simply a cornucopia of sharp formulations, precise observations, dizzying philosophical thoughts and wild imagination.”, writes the jury which also calls the book a «literary reading party».
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– Many would probably have put an end to the novel much earlier than Beate did. She worked hard on the material on many levels, and let us in the family read snippets and paragraphs for several years before it finally came out.
– Did you experience that she was afraid of not finishing the novel since she was seriously ill recently?
– Yes, she was probably afraid of it, but at the same time it was not the way she lived. She did not dwell on the seriousness of the disease and always thought ahead. It meant a lot to us, it meant something to the quality of the time we had together. Most recently during the winter holidays, she went downhill skiing with me and my children.
– She was preoccupied with life here and now, and everything that was to come, she did not think about the possibility that she would not live, says Grimsrud – who says that it was not important for Beate Grimsrud to tell about herself.
– She used experiences from her own life in her novels, but as inspiration and source. It was not important to say anything about herself, what she was interested in was writing something that was good. We discussed the reality literature debate, but for her it was all about writing good literature.
In the novel “I suggest we wake up”, the main character learns that she has cancer, and the bragging jury points out that Grimsrud writes “openly and unsentimentally about the process from sick to potentially healthy, with a life-affirming attitude that gives the language a distinctive power.”
– It meant a lot to her to experience the reception the book received, and I know she would like this. She would probably have taken the opportunity to thank everyone who had helped her reach the finish line. At the same time, she would probably say that the award was probably not completely undeserved either, Grimsrud smiles.
The family and friend Lotta have created a memorial scholarship in Beate Grimsrud’s name for young, promising Nordic authors.
– She was concerned that she herself had been helped forward and wanted to give something back. Even as a renowned author, it took many, many years before she herself earned money as an author, says Bjørne Grimsrud to VG.
Beate Grimsrud won the Brage Prize for best fiction book, here are the other Brage Prize winners:
The best children’s and youth book of the year:
Jenny Jordahl: “What really happened to you?”
The jury says: «This year’s winner’s book is an important book that engages through several senses: The precise dialogue between the characters is illustrated by living drawings, and is intense in both form and content. Clear use of color, wordless spreads and a visual representation of the protagonist’s interior reinforce her various emotions. “
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This year’s open class: Utility books for adults and children / youth:
Thomas Horne: «The great climate guide»
The jury says: “This year’s winning book solves almost a thousand small and large climate calculations. The answers show us which climate choices we can make in everyday life that benefit the globe. Is there any point in replacing the diesel car with a large Tesla? Should people stop eating meat? ” The jury believes that the book is accessible and easy to read – and that “at a time when the temperature of the globe is rising in step with the sea, a book can hardly be more useful than this”.
Best non-fiction of the year:
Dag O. Hessen: «The world at the tipping point»
The jury says that the Brage winner of non-fiction «is a very good communicator with the ability to inform and entertain. The language flows easily both in representations of heavier theoretical material and in lighter anecdotes, comparisons and examples. The book gets wide appeal through a successful balancing act between different views. “
This year’s honorary award:
Dag O. Hessen, winner of this year’s non-fiction book, is also awarded the Honorary Prize!
The jury says: “At a time when we have an abundance of information, the Brage Prize this year wants to emphasize how crucial it is that we have competent authors who are able to distinguish between facts and” fake “and who write books based on scientific and source-critical methods. This year’s honorary award winner represents, to an exemplary degree, such an activity through professional weight and personal enthusiasm. (…) This is the popularization of science at its very best. “
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