Gold - Non-fiction 2015
One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway
On 22 July 2011 Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 of his fellow Norwegians in a terrorist atrocity that shocked the world. Many were teenagers, just beginning their adult lives. In the devastating aftermath, the inevitable questions began. How could this happen? Why did it happen? And who was Anders Breivik? Åsne Seierstad was uniquely placed to explore these questions. An award-winning foreign correspondent, she had spent years writing about people caught up in violent conflict. Now, for the first time, she was being asked to write about her home country. Based on extensive testimonies and interviews, One of Us is the definitive account of the massacres and the subsequent trial. But more than that, it is the compelling story of Anders Breivik and a select group of his victims. A picture emerges of a killer – isolated, awkward, with a strange and troubled childhood. And on the other side, we come to know fascinating, dazzling young people such as Simon Sæbø and Bano Ras.
Åsne Seierstad was born in 1970 and studied Russian, Spanish and the History of Philosophy at Oslo University. An internationally bestselling author, she has also received numerous awards for her journalism. She worked as a correspondent in Russia between 1993 and 1996 and in China in 1997. Between 1998 and 2000 she covered the Balkans, including the war in Kosovo, for Norwegian television. In 2000 she published her first book, With their Backs to the World: Portraits from Serbia. After September 11th 2001 she went to Afghanistan, reporting for a number of major Scandinavian newspapers. The following year she went back to live with an Afghan family and wrote The Bookseller of Kabul, which was first published in English in 2003. It became an international bestseller, selling over two million copies. The paperback edition remained in the Sunday Times top ten for over a year.