Neda Alaei

Catching Air

How many lies can you keep track of?

I disappear into your arms,

shrinking, almost completely vanishing.

The only thing you can catch is air.

Samia is no longer invisible, but that’s not all her new friends at high school need to know. They don’t need to know about Kristoffer, her nerdy best friend. They don’t need to know that Samia doesn’t really know how to hug. They definitely shouldn’t know about Mum, who wants both of them to be best friends, who hides the key to the bathroom, and who doesn’t let Samia sleep alone. How many lies can you keep track of?

Catching air is a story about a claustrophobic, clammy and suffocating mother-daughter relationship, and about how difficult it is to break out and become your own person.

Neda Alaei

Neda alaei
Julie Pike

Winner of the U Prize 2020.

Neda Alaei (born 1991) grew up in Moss and lives in Oslo. She graduated in Writing Studies from the Norwegian Institute of Children’s Books in 2017. She is a trained child welfare officer and her day job is as a milieu therapist working with young people.

This isn’t us was her first novel, for which she received the Ministry of Culture’s Debutant Award, the Book Blogger Award and the U Prize.

Foreign rights

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Edited October 08, 2021 by Gyldendal Agency