The Way Out

Johanna Nilsson


Rights sold

Sweden: Nypon & Vilja




Maja has not left her house, barely her room, for two years. She doesn't know how it started or why, but suddenly she couldn't look people in the eye, didn't dare say anything, didn't dare take the bus to school. And finally she stopped going to school. The only people she talks to are her cat Pärla and unknown people online. But she is never herself but calls herself by different names. The real Maja is nothing to have. Her brother loves to be around people and now he's having a party. Maja has locked the door to her room and hears the party getting wilder and wilder. When there is a knock on the door and someone calls for help, Maja first panics. But she gathers courage and opens the door. There stands Alice. Maja can't stop thinking about Alice. She finds out where Alice lives, her phone number and starts following her on Insta. Could Alice be Maja's way out? The way out is a story that both realistically and beautifully depicts a young woman's mental illness and what it does to her and her life. The anxiety that the disease means for Maja comes right through the pages.


This is an important story about the feeling of being nobody, not having value, not functioning in social contexts. And about the courage to decide on one's own life and take the step out. Johanna Nilsson has been nominated several times for the August Prize and she writes about the strong emotions of adolescence like no one else. She does not shy away from anything, but approaches difficult and heavy subjects in a soft but at the same time uncompromising way. So also in The Way out. Despite the difficult subject, the story is light and hopeful.


56  pages easy read novel




"The way out is an exceptionally well-written and good book. It is easy to read with short sentences, clearly defined chapters and easy-to-understand language." 4 out of 5 Maria Christensen, BTJ library services no 4/23