The Neck Will Not Bend
|Norwegian title:||Broren til Hugo|
In Hugo´s Brother (Broren til Hugo) we follow the story of Errki, his slightly older brother Hugo and their parents.
Dad was one of the Norwegians who fought alongside the Nazis on the Eastern Front, and who still adheres to Nazi principles. Mother is an impoverished Finn who fell in love with this big bear of a man. They fight and swear, drink and lie.
We follow the story through Errki's eyes as he grows up in this environment. The novel deals with the young boys' developing amorous attraction towards other young boys, and the difficulties they face growing up homosexual with parents such as these. The novel is set in 1950's Nordland with its yoke of fishing, drinking and poverty. Per Knutsen is a master of writing warmly about painful things. A fine, strong book.
"A remarkable book about the things that may turn growing up into hell. (...) It has been said numerous times before, but I am going to say it anyway: No one can depict sorrow, longing and the pain that lack of love can put upon a person, with such a heartfelt skinlessness that Per Knutsen does."
Winner of Havmannprisen 2017.
"Det er sagt utallige ganger før, men jeg sier det likevel: Ingen skildrer sorg, savn og den smerte som mangel på kjærlighet kan påføre et menneske, med en slik inderlig hudløshet, som Per Knutsen."