Published in 1996, ‘Hva skal vi gjøre i dag og andre noveller‘ (lit. What Shall We Do Today and Other Short Stories) is a short story collection by Norwegian author Øystein Lønn that won the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize‘ in 1996. Øystein Lønn was born in Kristiansand in southern Norway, making his literary debut with a collection of short stories in 1966. He was unknown to the greater public until 1993 when he was awarded the ‘Brage Prize’ for his collection of short stories ‘Thranes metode’. Lønn is regarded as an excellent stylist and perspicacious observer for the way he dissects the lives of ordinary people with focus on the sadness of modern life. ‘Hva skal vi gjøre i dag? og andre noveller’ is, at a first glance, an overtly usual story where nothing unusual happens: using this narrative technique, Øystein Lønn intends to reveal what lies beneath the surface of modern man. The collection of short stories describes the lives of four older people for the past 40 years: three of them have had successful careers, but end up unemployed for different reasons. They plan a trip to New Guinea and put all their trust in that trip to get back their ‘joie de vivre’. Everything is said between the lines in the book – people’s characters appear in the pauses between dialogues: a technique used in the book is to describe a person through the thoughts of another person. According to the Adjudicating Committee, the glimpse of what lies beneath the linguistic surface has always been a mark of Øystein Lønn’s writings. He is the undisputed master of ambiguous dialogue. In ‘Hva skal vi gjøre i dag?‘ he dramatises the tension between our private lives and the incalculable social process.