I Am the One You are Waiting for
Is Bernice going insane or is she really Messiah? Johanna Nilsson has written a gripping novel telling the story of a woman in despair. She is a mystery to everyone, her predictions and analyzes are of a dimension that no ordinary human being could produce.
"I am thirty and a half years and have given birth to three children in my heart. One of them plays with the angels, the other two sits in the room for visitors and tries to figure out how they could give me relief.
It's been a year since Lily snuggled into me and started to grow. It was several months left until birth when she decided to make herself free from me. I lay on the bathroom floor and broke to pieces, the boys were home and heard it all, then Johan arrived, and he died a little as he sat with my head in his hands and was shaking from tears. Lily left the wounds in my hands and feet and around my head, it bleeds out of them every day, as a reminder of her sacrifice, and my mission."
What is the matter with Bernice? Has she gone mad with grief after her miscarriage, or is she Messiah who will save the world and bring their lost child back to life?
Nurse Sami is making a film of Bernice sermons and puts them on Youtube. He says that the rumor about her is spread like wildfire across the world. Bernice sees him as her disciple and doesn’t pay much attention to the fact that he sometimes is touching her in inappropriate places. When they escape together from the hospital, their friendship shows to be a very destructive relationship, and the question is how Bernice ever will be able to find her way back to herself and her family.
I Am the One You are Waiting For is a beautiful and thought-provoking novel about a psychotic woman who claims she is the resurrected savior. Johanna Nilsson plays with the idea about how Jesus would have acted and been met today.
"Johanna Nilsson is a writer who has the gift to portray the fragile man. She does it in a stylish and beautiful language. I Am the One You are Waiting for is a strong depiction of the struggle between psychosis and real relationships, fully comparable with Ron Howard's masterful film A Beautiful Mind. "
"In a way it reminds of one of Freud's studies, though written from within. It is a book of great social pathos and Nilsson is not afraid to fully step into her novels, breathe the same air, thinking the same thoughts. We come close to Bernice and can see why her illness seem like such an appealing, or rather necessary, option. "
"I find myself reading the book as Hanna Green’s epochal documentary novel I Never Promised you a Rose Garden, which from the inside describes psychosis not only as a black inferno but also its sickness benefits: a fantastic world of sometimes punitive and sometimes rewarding deities, mighty visions of sublime beauty. ... Although, I Am the One You are Waiting For is predominantly a black novel about the unspeakable torment and deprivation, it eventually turns into a tale of comfort and healing – that there is a world to win beyond disease and despair ".
"The novel is a touching and sad story of a mentally ill mother with a family that is about to break in tatters. ... Johanna Nilsson's books feels realistic and credible ... "
"All is not darkness in Nilsson's world. There is also kindness, generosity and tender love. Here is also a certain sense of humor. Although I Am the One You are Waiting For is a condensed story and a psychologically very insightful novel. Nilsson occasionally writes in a controlled rage, where her own perspective is aggressive and coercive. She can even sometimes be perfectly restrained in her expressions, but the text still pulsates to its own inherent drama. She writes with immediacy and force. Through her superb way to portray vulnerability and anguish she reaches up and into the essence of pain. "
Norra Skånes Tidningar
"Johanna Nilsson moves on safe ground, questioning the medical psychiatry , digging into both mourning and religious problems, and sending an appeal to the rest of us to not automatically reject the 'crazy one'."
"With a private, personal tone, sometimes with a dry twisted sense of humor, Johanna Nilsson assumes a realistic portrait of Bernice’s psychotic breakdown. Nilsson manages to avoid the superficial, politically correct, romanticizing parasiting that is placed on the society’s outcasts. The pain becomes poignant and personal with Bernice."
Nordvästra Skånes Tidningar
"Johanna Nilsson lets Bernice express herself beautifully in her infinite goodness and her perverted view of reality. The voice makes you speechless. The bleeding Bernice is as blind and deaf but still lucid. Wacky and wise joins. You follow her journey out of madness, the same ways as you with worried eyes follow a wobbly child on a voyage of discovery into the world of chair legs and hard table edges. I Am the One You are Waiting For works in its shape, constant from Bernice's perspective. It's often hilarious, when the reader sees truths which she has tried to ignore. "
"Johanna Nilsson writes important books in which she takes a stand for us to see the person and not just a diagnosis or a mental condition. In Bernice's story, she lets us occasionally imagine breakthroughs in her life, only to pull the rug from under the feet of both the character and the reader. In the desperate actions there is a rationality where Bernice is acting from her circumstances with her best ability. This is also a criticism of the society and its psychiatric care and how they treat people in crisis. "
"Iit is in the border area between healthy and diseased, and the gaps between the religious experiences and the reality, the author finds her authentic narration. The one that deals with the fragile threads of life and the compassion for the most vulnerable. And this time it also finally culminates in a hopeful ray of light. "