Nora Khalil

Original Title
Natur & Kultur, September 2023
Young adult
181 pp, 140 x 195 mm
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Nora Khalil

This class was really missing a vibe. No one was like Caspian, Khaled and Christian who always made us laugh during class. No one was like Amir who helped me when there was something I didn’t understand. I also missed Wahida. And Sara and Amal. I had never spoken to as many blondes before.

When Rayan stood outside his new school, he felt out of place. As he is trying to manage his new high school life, he notices Caspian drifting in a whole other direction. In Caspian’s closet, Rayan finds a bulletproof vest. How is he going to explain everything to Wahida, whom he longs for but rejects him? Old and new worlds collide in the stand-alone sequel to August Prize nominated Yani.

Nora Khalil was born in 1997 and works as a teacher. She has received Tensta Konsthalls Prize for her
writing. For Yani, she was nominated for the August Prize and the Slangbellan Prize for best debut in 2022.

Press voices

” But the most beautiful part, and most important part with “Abow” is the portrayal of the vulnerability  even the boys from the suburbs possess. The group that is always pointed out for all of Sweden’s problem, the group that is constantly suspected, the groups whose future has been taken away from them by the politician’s rhetoric and medias reporting.”  Sydsvenskan

Press voices about Yani:

”Here we find expressions for that feeling of alienation but also a liberating self-distance” BTJ

“…only a few have succeeded in bringing the lives of the young people in the village to life like Nora Khalil” Shora Esmailian, Helsingborgs Dagblad

“Nora Khalil does not underestimate youth, she dares to give space to the stories that burn. She believes in her readers’ ability to cope with the difficult and to find comfort and tools for resistance and survival” Nioosha Shams, Aftonbladet

“Brilliant debut in which the suburban language sparkles expressively” Dagens Nyheter

“I will remember Nora Khalil’s debut novel because I hear the boys’ voices in my head long after I have finished the book” Vi läser

“Told through the adolescent eyes of Rayan, Yani touches upon other important social topics, such as racism, violence and society’s approach to ending it, friendship, belonging, feminism, grief and sense of community. As in life, these serious matters are interspersed with lighter moments, such as when the friends struggle to buy a vegan birthday cake for their teacher. Their everyday life, their joys and their hardships in a Stockholm suburb, where most families have an immigration background, is sensitively captured through the eyes of the teenage protagonists. /…/ Nora Khalil is a young teacher and a poet; both callings are reflected in this novel through the beautifully sketched characters of the school pupils and her wonderfully accessible yet expressive word choices. Yani was an absolute joy to read and I would highly recommend it as it opens a window on another world within Sweden.” Catherine Venner, Swedish Book Review


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