Erlend Skjetne
A Different View

I picture him now: There is light snow in the air, he is pulling a hand through the black hair. Just like that he sends me a glance, a quick smile, before lifting a small backpack out of the luggage compartment. If he is traveling that light, he must be one of us.

A Different View is a story told from a refugee reception centre in the north of Norway. Eighteen Afghan boys are living there, and Anwar is one of them. He loves books and languages and is called The Professor by the other boys. One day Walid moves into his room. Walid is the absolute opposite of Anwar. A charming rebel and excellent football player.

Gradually a friendship grows between Anwar and Walid. But everyday life at the centre is hard and the future uncertain. Who of them - if any - will get to stay in Norway?

“The thoughts are big, the associations are many. You easily get drawn into the book’s universe. It is exciting and intense.”

“Erlend Skjetne’s novel describes life in an asylum reception center in a down-to-earth and unsentimental way. The book directs an important socially critical look towards the recipient link, in other words, us, and highlights what Norway has to offer young people in need, for better or worse.”


“In the Young Adult book, A Different View, which with the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan could hardly have been more relevant, Erlend Skjetne gives the refugees a voice. (…) He has now written his first Young Adult novel, and it has become an ambitious and important book. (...). "

Erlend Skjetne

Erlend Skjetne
Foto: Leikny Havik Skjærseth

Erlend Skjetne (b. 1988) comes from Melhus and works as a Norwegian language teacher for immigrants. He was nominated the Tarjei Vesaas' Debutant Prize for the collection of poems Skare (2019). In 2021, Skjetne was awarded NTNU’s literature prize and the Bokhandelen’s author scholarship. For his latest novel, A Different View, Skjetne was awarded the Brage Prize in 2021 in the category for Children and Young Adults. He was also nominated for The Norwegian Critics Award for the same book.

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Edited March 02, 2022 by Cappelen Damm Agency