Criminal and Punishment (*Forbryter og straff) (2022)
NOMINATED FOR THE NORDIC COUNCIL LITERATURE PRIZE 2023
Criminal and Punishment opens with the words ‘I have decided to write about him’. The writer is Norwegian, but she has been living in Paris for the past ten years. ‘Him’ being the man who raped her. Nobody, neither her family nor her boyfriend, wants her to write about him – she doesn’t even want to do it herself.
While she waits for her case to come before the court, she and her boyfriend look for a place together, in a city that feels stranger to her than ever before. She reads all she can about crime scenes, criminals and the crimes themselves. And she writes. It feels like a punishment, that she has been sentenced to do this. He has become the main character in her life.
Through direct, searching prose, Criminal and Punishment describes the period following on from a rape, in an open, confronting and thoughtful way. It is also a literary polemic, in which Nedrejord harshly criticizes our narratives of victim and offender, guilt and punishment.