Is writing important in life

Interview with Janne Teller

What would you say to the people who criticize the book so much? Would you tell them teenagers can handle this?

Yes, I would also say, now that it is eleven years old and I've spoken to so many young people from all over the world that there has never been anyone who found the book depressing. There may be adults who find the book depressing, but not young people. Because at your age you ask yourself this big question and you can still choose all paths and it is important to address this topic. But for older people it can be a little difficult because you may have made mistakes, you can't do everything again. So I think the book is more provocative for adults than it is for teenagers.

Now “nothing” is part of school reading in Denmark.

It took a long time. There were always many people against the book, but also many teachers for the book. They fought for it and I believe that these teachers had good teaching experiences with the book, which they then shared with other teachers. Bit by bit.

How does it feel when you find out in the press that this is actually a controversy. Didn't you feel a little offended?

Yes, at the beginning. It was shocking because to me it was just a story. I couldn't understand why people were so excited about a book, a fiction. But I couldn't do anything. Over time it changed, I felt a bit defensive because I think it was a good story. I've gotten used to it now, and I think it has now proven itself.