Eli lives alone. But she shares her life with Espen, Erik and Emil – or, rather, their voices, which have been with her since childhood. Periodically, she is cared for in mental hospital and treated either with sympathy, or with gross insensitivity. Eli's will to live and be creative is strong, but the voices keep rowing and ruining things for her. Still, she carries on writing books and making films. In this novel, Beate Grimsrud opens the door to a world that is alien to most people; in that world, you can at times feel vulnerable and powerless, but it has its own fascination and pathos.
Winner of the Norwegian Critics' Prize 2010.
Winner of Swedish Radio's Listeners' Award 2010.
Nominated by both Norway and Sweden to the Nordic Council's Literature Prize.
'En dåre fri is a based on an exceptionally brutal and beautifully lyrical narrative drawn from the inner life of a mentally ill artist.'
'... a disturbing and up, close and personal story about a mind in the crossing between enormous power and enormous, vulnerable lonliness.'
'"Lunatic comes from luna, the moon. Being lunatic doesn’t mean that one is feeble-minded. But the moon-struck speak differently from others.” Beate Grimsrud writes this in her new novel En dåre fri. If there is one author who talks – and writes – differently from the rest, it is Beate Grimsrud. She has written a novel that is like no other. … I haven’t read anything as moving as Beate Grimsrud’s new novel En dåre fri for a long time. Could it be because it is truthful? ... Reality or not: as a work of literature, Beate Grimsrud’s novel is so outstandingly brilliant that it becomes more real than reality itself.'
'... the novel gives a very human voice to someone's fight to find a balance between illness and creative power. En dåre fri is an energetic and different portrait of an illness which shows that the difference between the strong and the weak can be very small.'
Dag og Tid
'When I despair, rage, hope and cry my way through Beate Grimsrud’s En dåre fri, I know I will be unable to write a sober introduction to my review, in which I proclaim that one of Sweden’s foremost authorships has grown with another exceptional book.'
Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Sweden
'Suffice it to say that the literature Beate Grimsrud creates is unique, and that windows toward completely different dimensions are opened when you read her.'
'It invades your body and your mind, it becomes a voice that stays with you and which demands attention.'
'This is very very good. … an impressive book.'
Dagens Nyheter, Sweden
'En dåre fri describes this shuttle between worlds, this human border position, which is both imprisonment and freedom. And it is done in precisely the beautiful and visionary prose which has become Beate Grimsrud’s trademark.'