Nana Monologues (English title. Text in Norwegian only), 2 nd edition, published by Press Publishing, Norway in 2012 (1st edition from 2011 is sold out).
My ‘mormor’ (Norwegian for ‘grandma’) is the kind of woman who wipes the framed photographs of her seven grandchildren as often as she can, just to feel a little bit closer to us. Newly polished and forever smiling with our milk teeth still intact, we are guarding the wall above the guest bed, always made up with fresh sheets in case one of us should happen to pop by on our way to or from our never-ending globetrotting.
I live 500 km away from my grandparents, and my visits are so rare that when the occasion arises, the potatoes are decorated with parsley, we drink wine from crystal glasses and mormor lets me win at Chinese Checkers, even if everybody knows she beats the whole world, including my granddad (morfar).
Liv is her name. She was going to turn 80 and I had known her all my life. Still, I wasn’t quite sure if I really knew her, so one day I invited myself over to find out. Equipped with a camera and a sound recorder my grandmother was going to be examined with documentary precision, once and for all. I put on my serious field reporting eyebrows, she put on her shiny lipstick smelling like the best marzipan cake from our favourite Bristol bakery and the inside of an old leather bag from 1988. ‘Mormor’ tried her best to accommodate her demanding coffee guest, who fired away existential questions with her mouth full of cake crumbles and an increasing doubt in her eyes. The hunt for the inner truth about mormor had begun.
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