( Farrar Straus Giroux 2015)
"One of Us is a book about belonging, a book about community. The three friends
from Troms all belonged in definite places, geographically, politically and with
their families. Bano belonged in both Kurdistan and Norway. Her greatest aspiration
was to become 'one of us.' There were no short cuts.
This is also a book about looking for a way to belong and not finding it. The
perpetrator ultimately decided to opt out of the community and strike at it in the most
As I worked on the book, it came to me that this was also a story about contemporary Norway.
It is a story about us.
To all of you who have told me drops or streams of stories, written to me or commented
on my work: we made this book together.
Through the book, I want to give something back to the community from which it
sprang. My royalties for this book in Norway are being donated in full to the 'En av oss'
(One of Us) foundation. The foundation's statues allow for the money to be distributed
to a wide range of causes nationally and internationally, in the areas of development,
education, sport, culture and environment.
I have chosen to let those who contributed most to the book to decide which causes will
I think that would be in the spirit of their children."
Olso, 20 January 2014
I hesitate not wishing to lift boughs off those lost but after reading this
shattering book and for whatever very good reason knowing now
many of the children and others lost, by name, character,
and even families, I went to see what these beautiful
children looked like, and sure enough,
quietly, there is a memorial film
in their names.