Havmannprisen is a literature award for the best novel from a writer from Northerns Norway. This years winner is Per Knutsen, with his novel Hugo´ Brother (Broren til Hugo), a coming of age novel about growing up in a small village on the coast og Norway, just after World War II.
The jury says:
The Hugo´s Brother is not only a story about being gay in Post-Ward Norway. It is a complete, emotionfilled and beleivable depiction of the life of a poor family in the north of Norway in a totally different era. We can feel the hardship, anxtiety, despair, love, shame and longing that fill this far from trouble free family.
About the book:
In Hugo´s Brother 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.