Photo from Amazon
Linni Ingemundsen is from Norway, and she’s tried a lot of jobs throughout her life. The most recent is being an author, with the release of her debut novel, The Unpredictability of Being Human.
Released earlier this year, it’s a beautiful, funny, and honest coming-of-age story. It follows Malin, a teenage girl who watches her dad yell, her brother lie, and her mum fall apart. At least she meets Hanna, a friend to help her. Because being Malin is complicated – learning how to kiss, what to wear to prom, and what to do when you upset the prettiest, meanest girl in school.
We chatted with Linni to learn more about her growing up in Norway, her favorite books, and more. See the full interview below:
Can you tell us about your new book, and who we’ll be meeting?
The Unpredictability of Being Human introduces its reader to a small town community in Norway filled with pain, humour and a whole lot of nothingness. Fourteen year old Malin struggles to make sense of the world and find her place.
What’s your favourite thing about Malin?
I like that she is so genuine, honest and straightforward. There is nothing false about Malin – she just is who she is.
Why do you think characters who are outsiders are so important in YA fiction?
I think there is a chance almost all teenagers feel like an outsider at some point. No matter the reason it’s always reassuring to know that feeling like this is normal and that you are not alone.
How important do you think it is for YA readers to be exposed to tricky subjects through books?
I think the more we talk about certain topics and the more we learn, the more understanding we get. You may not be struggling with a tough issue. But someone around you is.
How did growing up in Norway affect your choice to set the book there?
I never thought I would find a setting like this so fascinating, but being away from this small town community for so long and seeing it from the outside has made me look at it with new eyes. If I still lived there I would probably have set the story in an “exciting place” like New York or something.
What language do you write in first?
When writing for an English audience I always write directly in English.
What was your thinking behind the decision to put some of the Norwegian language in the text?
When I lived in England I met some people who were very fascinated by the Scandinavian culture. It had never really occurred to me this could be exotic or interesting to anyone and I guess this inspired me to include some cultural things like local food and language.
Name three of your favorite books of all time.
Wow, what an impossible question, but I do appreciate a challenge.
Beatles by Lars Saabye Christensen. I read it for the first time when I was fifteen and I loved it so much that it made me read every book written by him. I still read everything he publishes and he is still one of my favourite authors.
I would have to say The Perks of Being a Wallflower, just because it is so beautiful in every single way. A recent favourite is Anatomy of a Misfit.
What would you do if you were God for a day?
My first instinct was to let people eat as much chocolate as they want without it having any negative effects on their bodies. But as long as I’m on the job I should probably have people learn to be more accepting of themselves the way they are.
Grab your copy of her book today!
The Unpredictability of Being Human is available for NBS for P429. You can shop online here. Share your thoughts about it online by using the hashtag #BeingMalin. Special thanks to Usborne Publishing.
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