After exactly 4 years of blogging, my first book has been published and is out in the Norwegian bookstores and online since the beginning of April. This is what the cover looks like:
5 reasons to read it, whether you are a Norwegian or a foreigner
- If you are a Norwegian: Learn about your own culture seen from another perspective, understand how hard it is for your foreign friends to integrate. And laugh.
It turns out that although this blog was originally intended for foreigners interested in Norway, it turned out that Norwegians LOVE to read about what foreigners think of them. As you can read here in one of my previous blogposts. As I was publishing this book in Norway and with a Norwegian publisher, it seemed obvious that it needed to be out in Norwegian first to meet those I actually write about: the Norwegians. A last reason was also to see whether my observations make sense to them, not just to me.
2. If you are a foreigner living and/or interested in Norway: learn, laugh, and practice your Norwegian.
If you are a foreigner who does not speak a word of Norwegian, you are going to have to wait for the English version to come out. However, if you are a Norwegian or a foreigner with even a limited knowledge of Norwegian I think that you can try to read this book. It talks about you and things you know from before as a foreigner knowing a Norwegian, or living here, and it is written in a simple language, as neither English nor Norwegian are my native languages.
The title of the book is “En frosk i fjorden- Kunsten å bli norsk”. This does not mean that I try to become Norwegian (I have accepted long ago that I will never be Norwegian), but the joys and miseries of trying to integrate and understand this culture and this language. You can read the Table of contents and the first 27 pages of the book here.
3. Get more information about my personal story not just in Oslo but also traveling in the whole of Norway: Trøndelag (Røros…), Tromsø, Lofoten, Riddu Riddu Sami and indigenous Festival, and the story about my integration in the country.
This book is about my first year as a foreigner in Norway, with all the cultural shocks one might encounter. The book is much more personal than the blog, and many stories for example of travels all around Norway, as well as how I moved here, all the cultural shocks of the beginning are there but absent from the blog. It is like a novel, with a story from the beginning to the end, going through my first year in Norway. Some of my readers’ favorite blogposts are also included in the book, such as How to make things Koselig, and The Norwegian “Art” of Seduction.
I packed many experiences I had during my 6-7 years in Norway in one year, such as:
- How I went to my first Norwegian party and really believed I had made friends.
- Drunk Norwegians at Julebord being super friendly and then pretending everything that was said and happened there never existed.
- Work meetings where people sip coffee and make strange sounds while everyone around the table has to give their opinion. To conclude that we all need another meeting.
- How I tried to learn to ski, and failed.
- Several chapters are about my life in the whole of Norway, not just Oslo: Tromsø, Lofoten, Riddu Riddu Festival, Trøndelag close to Røros etc.
- The power of the weather on Norwegians.
- How I moved in a famous Norwegian singer’s rehearsing studio without knowing it.
- Learn about Norwegian traditions: Easter, 17th of May, Russetid, Christmas etc.
- How hard it was for me to flirt with men, meet a boyfriend after trying all the tricks in the book to do so.
- How to deal with Norwegians’ way of showing feelings and emotions.
- How my family reacted to me moving to Norway, and staying here.
- How I learned Norwegian language.
- How I reacted to stereotypes about Norwegians being shy, introvert, etc.
And much more.
4. Get to read it first!
It will soon be out in English, the original language it was written it, at the end of this year if everything goes according to plan. And maybe even in other languages. My grand mother asks when it would come out in French. This is her trying to make sense of the Norwegian version.
5. It has already received acknowledgment in Norway among the biggest media on a national level.
Here are a few clips on Norwegian TV and radio where I talk about the book: on Nitimen (Radio P1), God Morgen Norge (TV2), Lindmo (TV NRK1), where I had the amazing experience to meet one of the funniest comedians in Norway, Dagfinn Lyngbø, and the Head of the Norwegian Labour Party Jonas Gahr Støre. An interview and review of the book was featured in the magazine Utdanning. Here is a picture of me on Lindmo:
If you have any ideas of platforms (maybe yours?) that would be interested in writing a few lines about it, or schools, voksenopplæring or other institutions such as universities, companies hiring foreigners etc. interested in writing about this book, or hearing about it, let me know!