‘Small Knot’ by Gunnhild Øyehaug, translated by Kari Dickson

Kåre came into this world with an umbilical cord that no one could cut.

Another high-concept tale. Kåre spends his life tied to his mother, who seems resigned to spending the rest of her life trailing him. In the process, his father leaves, and then in adulthood, Kåre’s wife leaves. Unable to face cutting the cord after his mother’s death, he asks to live in the graveyard with her body. From the window of his small dwelling next to the grave (‘he didn’t have much room to manoeuvre in any case, now that the umbilical cord had been shortened by six feet’), he watches out for a woman who regularly attends funerals in the graveyard. This is a cartwheel in short story form, light and romantic against the odds. 

First published in Norwegian in Knutar+, Kolon Verlag 2012, and in English in Knots, FSG Originals, 2017

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