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Ingrid Storholmen, author of Voices From Chernobyl, in an exclusive interview with Mark Ulyseas
Saturday, 26 April 1986
REACTOR NUMBER FOUR ON FIRE
LARGE QUANTITIES OF RADIOACTIVITY LEAKING OUT
WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
USSR never informed the world.
Sweden did…three days later.
The thing is that I wrote the whole book before I went to Chernobyl. After being there for two months and meeting so many suffering people I was not able to write about it. It was so distressing meeting children with cancer at the hospitals or knowing about people’s lives that were totally changed by the accident.
It took me several years after my trip before I was ready to publish the book. I felt so much anguish for the people near the power plant that I thought I would never publish the book.
However, after the accident in Japan at the Fukushima nuclear plant, I felt it was necessary to remind all of the danger we live with everyday; That no power plant in the world is safe. Something can always happen and the radio activity will leak out into the environment and poison all living things around.
Ingrid Storholmen was born in Verdal, Norway, on 22 May 1976. She studied literature at the University of Bergen, and spent one year at a creative writing school. She was the literature editor of Morgenbladet, a culture newspaper in Norway. For five years, she was the writer-in-residence at ‘Adrianstua’, a writer’s house in Trondheim. She started the Trondheim International Literature Festival during her stay there, and also founded the literary magazine LUJ with two colleagues. She has published five books: The Law of the Poacher (2001, Shamespeesch); Graceland 92005); Siri’s Book (2007); Voices from Chernobyl (2009); To Praise Love (2011) published by Aschehoug in Oslo, Norway.
She has received many literary awards and prizes for her work, and her poetry has been translated into eighteen languages. Voices from Chernobyl bagged the Sult Prize 2010, and was shortlisted for the 2009 Critics’ Prize, the 2009 Brage Award and the 2009 Youth Critics’ Prize.
Marietta Taralrud Maddrell (Mira) was born in England in 1943 to a Norwegian father and Swedish mother. She is a wandering ascetic who supports social causes like underprivileged children’s education in India, and brings support and succour to those who need her services. She knows many languages like Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, Greek and Hindi. Having spent three years circumambulating the course of the river Narmada on foot, she has written an account of her journey in the book Narmada Called Me From the Far Himalaya. Some of her translations from Hindi to English include seminal works on the river Narmada by the noted Hindi and Gujarati writer and environmentalist, Amrit Lal Vegad: Narmada: River of Beauty (2008, Penguin India), Amritsya Narmada and Tire-Tire Narmad. She took up the translation of this novel in support of the anti-nuclear movement in India and for the exceptional nature of the narrative.
Published by Harper Perennial and available at LINK