Kjersti-Anfinnsen-c-Marius-Fiskum-Kolon-Publishing-House
Kjersti Anfinnsen, born in 1975, lives in Oslo where she works as a dentist. She has studied creative writing at the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art and at the Writing Academy in Bergen. In 2012, she made her debut with the novel Det var grønt (It Was Green). The novel De siste kjærtegn (The Last Signs of Love) was published in 2019 and has been translated into Russian and Danish. Anfinnsen has received several awards and author grants. In 2021, her third novel, Øyeblikk for evigheten (Moments for Eternity), is an independent sequel to The Last Signs of Love.  
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Øyeblikk for evigheten (Moments for eternity)
Birgitte Solheim is a cardiologist who has turned 90 years old – so old that most of her friends are dead. Lonely and frail, she spends most of her time in her apartment in Paris. Behind her, she has a long career in a male-dominated environment, and she has never prioritized having a family on her own. Now she is trying to reconcile with life, while observing people and the world. With wisdom, experiences, drive and humor, she does not give up her dream of love. Øyeblikk for evigheten (“Moments for Eternity” is a tender, bitter and surprisingly funny novel about loneliness, love and death. Who are you when you're old? Are you just a representative of a certain age?   
Øyeblikk-for-evigheten-cover

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anne.cathrine.eng@gyldendal.no
Anne Cathrine Eng (agent)

Publishing House

Excerpt

Excerpt

GRAND HOTEL

Vi klamrer oss til hver vår stol slik vi klamrer oss til selve livet. Feilaktig har jeg takket ja til en invitasjon fra Rikshospitalet i Oslo for å motta en utmerkelse. Jeg skylder litt på Javiér, som overtalte meg på sitt sjarmerende vis. Han mente jeg fortjente oppmerksomheten. Våre fabuleringer fikk oss til å glemme hvor skrøpelige vi er, så vi reiste slik vi lovet hverandre, og ble deretter overrasket over at alderen har fått slik tak på oss.

Nå våger vi ikke å forlate hotellrommet. Kan hende finner vi ikke tilbake. Det er livstruende glatt utenfor. Dessuten er det kaldt. Så vi sitter i hver vår stol med dyne og ser ut av hvert vårt vindu mens vi venter på å bli hentet. Skjønt, Javiér har sovnet, og jeg ser nærmest ingenting.

ARVEN

Min søster sendte meg de fineste plaggene sine, strøket og brettet ned i en av postens pappesker. Hun brukte det siste året på å rydde, sortere og lagre, men aldri kaste. Elisabeth kastet ingenting. Jeg ser henne for meg der hun romsterer i skap og skuffer. Hektisk i bevegelsene, som om hun har det travelt.

Fremdeles er hun plagsom.

Men det er vel meg det er noe galt med, jeg mener: Hun er død, og jeg er irritert.

Øverst i forsendelsen ligger kåpen. Jeg løfter den opp etter kragen og trekker inn lukten av min søster. Ja, det er min eneste lillesøster.

«Slik lukter du,» sier jeg.

«Chanel og karbonadesmørbrød,» sier hun.

Jeg tar på meg kåpen. Ruvende henger den rundt meg, jeg blir svimmel, og alt omkring meg forsvinner et lite øyeblikk.

NEDERLAG

Michel M er syk. Det er visst noe som går. Jeg lager middag selv. For å lese oppskriften trenger jeg lupen med størst forstørrelse og lys. Vanligvis ligger den i midtskuffen på skatollet i stuen. Nå er den vekk. Jeg husker ikke når jeg brukte den sist. Sikkert i går. Det er nær sagt livsnødvendig å legge ting på faste plasser. Glemselen er som et hardt slag mot ansiktet, store utsnitt av hukommelsen har rast ut, og man husker ikke annet enn at man har blitt fryktelig gammel. Jeg kan ha glemt hele somre, og sikkert noen av de andre årstidene. En lang høst, en kort vår, hva vet vel jeg lenger annet enn at tiden oppløses og forsvinner. En årstid blir borte på et øyeblikk. Særlig har somrene en lei tendens til å fordufte.

Jeg bestemmer meg for å lete i et kvarter. Ikke lenger. Da blir jeg sur og sliten. Mens man leter, kommer man i fare for å rydde, minner jeg meg selv på.

«Det må jeg ikke gjøre,» sier jeg høyt.

Dersom jeg rydder, blir det heller mer rot, knuste glass og håpløse rokeringer, og jeg finner ingenting siden. Det er bortkastet.

Etter en rolig leteaksjon bestiller jeg mat levert på døren.

Brioche og crème au chocolat.

FLYT

Jeg har aldri riktig vært i vinden. Da jeg var barn, var ikke barn viktige. Da jeg studerte og arbeidet, var det en klar fordel å være mann. Og nå, når jeg er virkelig gammel, skal man visst være ung i denne verden.

MODELLEN

Jeg setter meg ned overfor Javiér ved tegnebordet og spør om han er sulten. Han reagerer ikke, fortsetter rolig å file på en trebit han holder mellom hendene.

«Hva tenker du om vinduer?» sier han.

«De er nødvendige,» sier jeg. «Hva liker du med vinduer?»

«Lyset som siver inn gjennom dem,» sier han. «Måten strålene duses ut og kysser veggene på.»

«Jeg synes de tar seg best ut når de er buet,» sier jeg.

Så snur han modellen og plukker ut kirkens vinduer på den ene siden.

«Er det egentlig så viktig?» sier jeg.

Han klør seg på haken. En sur eim siver mot meg. Jeg forsøker å komme på når han dusjet sist. Jeg husker ikke.

Excerpt - Translation

Translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson

GRAND HOTEL

We cling to our chairs in much the same way that we cling on to life. I, rather stupidly, have accepted an invitation from Oslo University Hospital to receive an award. I blame Javiér in part, he was so charmingly persuasive. He felt I deserved the attention. In our enthusiasm, we forgot how decrepit we are, and off we went, as we promised each other we would, only to discover, to our surprise, that age has a firm hold on us.

            And now we don’t dare leave the hotel room. We might not find our way back. It’s fatally slippery outside. And very cold. So we stay lodged in our chairs, wrapped in a duvet, and look out of the window while we wait to be collected. Well, that’s to say, Javiér has fallen asleep and I see practically nothing.

INHERITANCE

My sister has sent me her best pieces of clothing, neatly ironed and folded in a post office box. She spent the last year of her life tidying, sorting and storing, but didn’t throw anything away. Elisabeth never binned anything. I can just picture her rummaging through her cupboards and drawers. Bustling movements, as though she were busy.

            She still manages to plague me.

            But it’s probably me there’s something wrong with, I mean: she’s dead, and I’m still annoyed.

            Uppermost in the box is a coat. I lift it up by the collar and draw in the smell of my sister. Oh yes, that’s my little sister.

            ‘That’s how you smell,’ I say.

            ‘Chanel and fried onions,’ she says.

            I put the coat on. And vanish in its capacious folds. 

DEFEAT

Michel M is ill. Seems there’s a bug going around. I have to make my own dinner. To read the recipe, I need a good light and my strongest magnifying glass. I normally keep it in the middle drawer of the bureau in the sitting room. But it’s not there now. I can’t remember when I last used it. Yesterday, no doubt.  Goodness, it’s vitally important to put things back in the right place. Forgetfulness is like a slap on the face, huge parts of the memory collapse, and you can’t remember anything except that you are terribly old. I may have forgotten entire summers, and possibly some other seasons as well. A long autumn, a short spring, what do I know, other than that time is dissolving and slipping away. A whole season vanishes in the blink of an eye. Summers in particular have an unfortunate tendency to evaporate.

            I decide to look for quarter of an hour. No more. By then I’ll be tired and fractious. I remind myself there is always a danger that once you start looking, you start tidying as well.

            ‘I mustn’t do that,’ I tell myself out loud.

            If I start tidying, it will only result in more mess, broken glass and silly changes and I won’t be able to find anything. It’s a waste of time.

            Following a controlled search, I order food to be delivered to my door.

            Brioche and crème au chocolat. 

FLOW

I’ve never really had a favourable wind. When I was a child, children were not important. When I studied and worked, it was more advantageous to be a man. And now that I’m old, youth is what’s vaunted in this world.

THE MODEL

I sit down opposite Javiér at his drawing board and ask him if he’s hungry. He doesn’t react, just carries on filing a piece of wood he’s holding in his hand.

            ‘What are your thoughts on windows?’ he says.

            ‘They’re necessary,’ I reply. ‘Why do you like windows?’

            ‘The light that filters through them,’ he says. ‘The way the beams are softened and kiss the walls.’

            ‘I think arched windows are the nicest,’ I say.

            Then he turns the model around and takes out the windows from one side.

            ‘Is it really that important?’ I ask.

            He scratches his chin. A slightly sour smell wafts over towards me. I try to remember when he last had a shower. I can’t.