Harald Nortun: BLUE BATS

Cover of "The Blue Bat"

Blå flaggermus
Published by Samlaget, 2019

Ketchup blood, business ideas and a girl with blue felt pens
The summer holidays have just begun. Sander and his friend Tomas have some ideas for a business. Why? Because Sander needs to save up for a mobile phone. The boys get their hands on some hens and hope to make some money in an egg sale. A prank with ketchup blood leads to a complete fiasco. Then a rich man with a swanky car starts visiting Sander’s mum more and more frequently, and Sander finds out some things he would rather never have known.

In Blue Bats, Harald Nortun tells a story about what it feels like to be shut out, at the same time as describing how it feels to finally be noticed. In this case by a girl named Line, who doodles on his skin with blue felt pens.

The jury’s grounding for their nomination of Harald Nortun’s novel for the Brage Prize:

“Blue bats is sparse and eloquent, swooping down into themes such as poverty, fairness, dyslexia and various types of isolation. […] Sander has a sophisticated ability to rise up against different external pressures, and this runs all the way through the book. Despite its somewhat serious backdrop, this is both a warm and humorous novel. This thrilling, yet at the same time believable depiction of how isolating a childhood summer holiday can be, has a lot to say.”


Harald Nortun (b. 1972) is a qualified literary scholar and has worked as a university lecturer. His debut as an author was the novel Røverskogen (Thieves in the Woods) in 2006. In 2015, he released the critically-acclaimed children’s novel Eksperimentet (The Experiment), whose rights have been sold in four languages, including French and Dutch.