The Hour Zero

What is the Hour Zero? Stunde Null, hour zero, is what the Germans called the period after the second world war, when Europe was laid in ruins, and the world had to be built anew, on top of those ruins, by people who were, if not perpetrators, then carrying heavy loads of guilt. How do you start over? On the back of everything that’s happened? How much of your own complicity do you acknowledge, and how much do you try to hide to keep living? In this novel Lotta Lundberg spins a world around the image of a woman standing in her own ruin, her own hour zero – where does she go from there?

Berlin 1945. The author Hedwig Lohmann is traveling from the ruined city to a convent. About a year earlier her daughter has made her way through hell. Where is she now – the girl she left behind? Is she even alive?

Blidholmen 2005. Ingrid has quit her practice to move to the archipelago and be a priest’s wife. Her husband is ill and demands her care. But on the island, there is also Hanna, the author that her husband seems to become closer and closer with.

Uppsala 1983. Isa cuts up her doll and as a teenager she ends up at the psychologist's. One day she decides to create The Great Therapy-game. If you land on the wrong box on the board you will have to go straight to Chaos – but there are ways to mend the world.

With great skill Lotta Lundberg braids three voices together, three women separated in time and space but still linked together. The Hour Zero marks the end of the war, but also the human experience of standing in your own ruin. What is a woman allowed to do? What is most forbidden? Can you get another chance when the very worst has already happened?

Lotta Lundberg

Original title:
Timme Noll

August 2014

General Fiction

Original publisher:
Natur & Kultur

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final)

374 pp.

Czech Republic/Kniha Zlin
Germany/Hoffman und Campe
Norway/Cappelen Damm
Macedonia/Bata Press Millennium
Sweden/Natur & Kultur

The Hour Zero will be played in Prague in the Spring of 2018.