Once they were Wolves is a collection of short stories about people who are confronting something new and unknown in their lives. The stories explores what happens when people are being pushed hard, by others, by themselves, by the unexpected ways life might take.
The first sentence in the book sets the scene immediately: ”It had been raining for ten days. Thunder filled the air. The houses around his were dark and empty, and the moisture clung to his skin and made breathing difficult. Perhaps Inger-Marie and he were the only ones left in the village.”
Once they were Wolves came out in March 2017, and has already gotten much attention and critical acclaim, comparing her to Norwegian giants such as Olav Duun and Merethe Lindstrøm as well as classic masters of the short story, like Poe and Chekhov.
«Therese Tungen makes her debut with super-relevant and affecting short stories. [...]Her stories are long, but still concentrated. They stop exactly when they should. As if the writer lures the reader to the edge of a cliff, and then disappears, leaving the reader to herself.» 5/6
«These short stories are a welcome, mature and stylistically secure contribution to the Norwegian short story. Some of them are on par with our very best.”»
«In Therese Tungen’s excellent debut we follow people in extreme circumstances […] the inner lives of brains where cognition is about to break down is described in a language so fluid and alive that I feel like I’m reading my own thoughts.»
«We have been given a new, exciting short story writer. She can be mentioned along Merethe Lindstrøm …». 5/6
«The strength i Tungen’s short stories are … that they push through the barriers of social realism … it is well-written, brave and original …» 5/6