by Negar Naseh

Helene hasn’t seen her mother in a while. They have a complicated relationship and Helene has moved from the archipelago of her childhood to the inland of Westrobothnia. She lives there with her boyfriend and follows her own rules. Now her mother is on her way to spend some time with them. The air is filled with expectations and worry. Maybe they will be able to find their way back to each other? Maybe the mother can finally accept Helene for the person she has become?

In the daughter’s meticulously planned existence the mother swoops in with her evident claims on the world, her well tailored clothes, expensive jewelleries, her great taste. The time together is arduous and Helene’s attempts at making things right are getting more and more desperate. At last she finds herself on the verge of panic. She must breathe again, she can’t handle being under her mother’s judging eyes. 

During All This Winter is a dark and hypnotically intense novel about a daughter and a mother. In a sensible and careful language Negar Naseh tells a story about the grownup child’s impossible longing for both nearness and liberation, with a foundation that everyone can identify with.  

In the second part of the novel we get to follow the author’s work with the novel. Her ideas are winding when she reads, writes, rejects and bargains with herself. The work journal offers a unique insight to the everyday life of an author, while double exposing the themes of fiction.

First published by Natur & Kultur, 2014

Sweden, Natur & Kultur