I talked over Skype with my wife, Ingrid Rudefors.  She is now in New York, while I am in Tanga, Tanzania.  The other night she was at a gala dinner with the Swedish king and queen while I was sleeping on the dhow in Zanzibar.

We are separated by continents but also by six months.  So what brilliant can  I write? It has to be about love and longing.

So love and longing will include my wife.  She is a remarkable person with whom I decided to part from for six months.  But as I told her:

Your book is inspired by Alice in Wonderland.  So you might have to accept to have a husband that goes Alex in Wonderland.

For those who do not know (has it been possible to miss?) she got her first novel published in September this year.  “On the same time, at a roof in Chinatown” (Samtidigt, på ett tak i Chinatown) is about the choices we make in the moment, that changes our lives forever.  The book is about how it is never to late to make new choices.  That dreams can be fulfilled in ways we cannot imagine, and sometimes against our will.

The prudential woman Alice discovers something shocking about her long time husband and escapes out of her house to buy a one way ticket to New York where her only daughter lives in a shabby apartment in Chinatown with her Hungarian boyfriend.  Taken by surprise by the sudden arrival of her mother, Babylonia (the daughter) has to leave Alice (the mother) alone for the night as she has to go to the theater where she works for no pay with the hope of becoming discovered.  Meanwhile Alice gets herself locked out at the fire escape and enters Chinatown by night, and for the next 48 hours she is more or less lost until the end of the book, which ends with no endings, only new beginnings.

Luckily there will be a next book, and that is why Ingrid now is in New York.  To find new inspiration and to write.  When we talked via Skype today the distance between us was 12400 km.  Ponder that there was a road leading to New York from here, and that I had a bicycle and started to ride…   If I bicycled 40 hours a week, it would take 16 weeks to get there for a kiss.

Back to the book.  The husband Göran is the trigger of the events.  Alice finds evidence of a young woman in Berlin and now assumes that their relationship is built on a lie.  But what could be worse than a young mistress in Berlin?  What truth is it that makes Göran go after Alice with the next plane to New York?

What could be worse than the worst imaginable?  I wish you would read the book, and let me know what you think of the secret life of Göran!  So just buy the book, you can do it here – I will tell what I believe is the terrible truth.  Too bad if you don’t read English, you just have to wait for the translation.

So what about love and longing? I wish everyone would have the privelege of reading a book by their husband or wife.  It is like getting keys to a new garden where you can enter and explore new places.  It is a wonderful experience to guess where I am part of the story.  Am I the gloomy boyfriend Gabor, or just some elements….?  Words can also bridge longing.  Reading the book is being together.  Carrying the book in the bag is walking together.

Even though 12400 km separates us.


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