Nora Khalil

Original Title
Natur & Kultur, September 2022
Young adult
200 pp, 140 x 195 mm
Rights Sold
, ,


Nora Khalil

A debut novel that portrays strong friendship, marginalization, longing, grief, and belonging with warm humor and scrupulous social criticism.

It’s a coming-of-age novel about Rayan, who is in that period of transition between junior high and high school, and a collective novel about young adults in Botkyrka, a suburb to Stockholm, their living conditions and hopes and dreams. A large story that evokes laughter as well as tears, and stays with the reader for a long time after.

Nora Khalil was born in 1997 and works as a teacher. She has received Tensta Konsthalls Prize for her writing.

Press voices

”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

Books in the same series:


Winner of the "Hjärtans fröjd" prize for best YA book 2023

Nominated for the August Prize 2022

Motivation: "Spoken word poet Nora Khalil excels as a novelist in this portrayal of Alby in the 2020s. A multitude of voices appear in the brilliantly written dialogues. A deportation order approaches like a dark cloud, and friendships deepen. With poetic concision and liberatingly sharp humour, the author navigates between joy and desperate sadness."

Nominated for the Slangbellan Award 2022

Motivation: "With impressive pitch, Nora Khalil depicts life in a group of friends in the town, where friendship and community are at the center. Yani is an honest and undisguised story with a strong present, which is colored by what has been and shadowed by worries about what is to come. Grief and loss both weld together and create distance. The young people are portrayed with great warmth, which together with the precise language makes them feel both real and close.”