Tag: Lost in Translation

Wait, Blink by Gunnhild Øyehaug

Posted October 15, 2018 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Contemporary / 2 Comments

Wait, Blink by Gunnhild ØyehaugTitle: Wait, Blink (Goodreads)
Author: Gunnhild Øyehaug
Translator: Kari Dickson
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018
Pages: 256
Genres: Contemporary
My Copy: Hardcover

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindleWordery (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Translated Literature 2018

After reading Love by Hanne Ørstavik, it felt rather strange to go to Wait, Blink by Gunnhild Øyehaug. Not because they are both by Norwegian authors but because they both take a small slice of the everyday and explore it. Although that is pretty much the end of the similarities. Wait, Blink reads very differently, it is contemporary look into the life, mainly three woman at different stages of their lives.

Wait, Blink is riddled with pop-culture references, mainly looking at the connection between art and love. While it also feels like Gunnhild Øyehaug is trying to understand this obsession western films have with women in oversized men’s shirts. The novel makes references to film scenes where a women is in an oversized men’s shirt and how it is often a symbol used to represent sex. One of the key example talked about was Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost in Translation starring Scarlett Johansson. Interestingly enough Yngvild Sve Flikke adapted this novel in 2015 and called it Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts (Kvinner i for store herreskjorter).

This novel had a very contemporary feel to it which made it a very quick read. The film as well as other pop-culture references worked for a geek like myself. At the heart of the novel it felt like a poetic look into the lives of three different women. The way they navigated through their own lives and romantic situations were very different. Although I have to disagree with the subtitle of this book; “A Perfect Picture of Inner Life”.

While this is a novel that explores the inner lives of these women, it felt more like a snapshot into their worlds. We have three different women at different stages of their lives but because they are different people, it is hard to get a perfect picture of inner life. This is small glimpses into the lives of three women and while I would love to follow them further (especially Sigrid the young literary student) we only see a fragment and nothing more. From the National Book Award longlist for Translated Literature, Wait, Blink is one of my favourites and I am pleased it is getting some attention.