Trude Lorentzen
Mum, a mystery

There is something about the colours in that photo, that orange Seventies wallpaper, our matching wine-red blouses.

We are embracing each other, my arm around her neck. Her eyes, behind the glasses. They show no fear, only joy. And her smile. It’s not for the photographer, even though she is looking straight into the camera. No, the laughing smile is for me, her only child, an only child who adores her single mother, who presses her lips against her cheek, with closed eyes, while I am probably emitting a loud cuddling sound. “Mmmy mmum.” The photo is of us, everything we had together, captured in a single exposure. It seems impossible to imagine that these two people were not going to live happily ever after.

This is the story about Mia. A cheerful lady who suddenly and inexplicably became mentally ill when she reached mid-life. She committed suicide when Trude was 15. Now Trude is an adult, and she is a mother herself. She could not understand what happened to her mother at that time. Can she understand any more now?
Mum, a Mystery is a daughter’s declaration of love for a mother who could not bear to keep living. It is a story of powerlessness and hope, grief and survival. And about the fear of waking one morning and being someone other than when you went to sleep the night before.

Trude Lorentzen

Trude Lorentzen
Photo: Finn Ståle Felberg

Trude Lorentzen is the winner of the prestigious Norwegian Journalism Award.

Foreign rights

Oslo Literary Agency
Henrik Francke
Literary Agent, Literary fiction /
Forlaget Oktober
[email protected]
+47 913 53 922


Nominated for the 2013 Brage Prize

Edited December 21, 2017 by Oslo Literary Agency