What is identity, really? Is it based on your taste in music? Where you come from? Is it the clash between who you are and who you have been?
Alva has many memory gaps. She knows why. Growing up, she was exposed to trauma that has left her with a puzzle of memory pieces to put together. She goes to therapy and digs into her past to try to understand her present. Her future.
Bo lives with her siblings in total darkness. Bo is only a child, but has had to learn early in life what it means to take responsibility, and has been exposed to the darkness of adult life. They must escape, Bo and her siblings, but how?
Tiny bird fly portrays dissociation. Dissociation is a feeling of distance from oneself, one's feelings or one's environment. Other dissociative conditions include DID - dissociative identity disorder, which is a splitting of the self.
Humanity is highlighted amidst trauma and diagnosis. Hope and love light up even the darkest dark.
Matilda Olsson, Idus publisher:
The book is incredibly well written and feels well thought out. You have a fantastic language! Lively, flexible, poetic and straightforward at the same time. I particularly feel that the strength of the book is to be found in your language. For example:
"I start rocking a little by little, but stop. I do not need to hide, I am already hidden." Despite the large amount of text, the book does not feel difficult to read for this very reason.
Excerpts from the book:
The house now is dimmed and dark. It is empty of color but full of bodies sniffing obliviously. I listen to the breath, as I travel out of the house and up into the sky. Here the air is cold and the tree branches rustle faintly just below me. The stars glimmer and shine. "I don't know how the stars are doing in their families, but we're tense," I say. Stars laugh and dive into darkness and space. They are happy. I think they never fight. They just give light to each other and are as carefree as Judith is when one of the big ones chases her, tickles her and hugs her.
Stars resemble each other. There is hardly any mom or dad in their families. I have a father in ours, I share gently. Father is a salesman, inventor and craftsman. His head is a darkness, an emptiness seeking constant replenishment, and he creates objects and belief systems and relationships. When he is not inventing a new kind of dishwasher or building a computer, he is inventing who he allows us to be. When he's not on the phone talking with one of his voices - he's talking to some business owners he wants to sell things to - he's telling us how everything is. Once he decided we should fast for a week and emptied the pantry. Mirjam fainted after the third day and Lisa had to sneak off in the night and break into the neighbor's house so we could have something to eat when father wasn't looking. Another time, he decided that girls' long hair was an act of pride and sin, so he shaved it off, leaving only a shadow on their scalp. Right now he decides that we have to wear cumbersome dresses and the big ones think it's embarrassing to go to school in old-fashioned dresses, but they don't dare say anything, they don't even dare talk to each other about it.
No, we are not stars. We are people. People can be many different things. People have families. Some are nice and warm like balloons - Bo loves balloons. I had a balloon that I looked at for five days, until it shrank and wrinkled and sometimes I would gently taste it with the tip of my tongue. When does the balloon come back, I would have asked every day if I could talk. Some families are like a lava lamp, lifting each other up, like our neighbors. Sometimes I am forgotten on a blanket under the tree by the Yellow Bush and I often fly to that family. That family has a mother and a father and three children who are like branches reaching out to try new things while the rest of them carry on, never letting go.