When Musa Mutaev's first book of stories from Chechnya, I Kuntas skygge (In the shadow of Kunta), was published in Norway in 2007, critics called it "a masterpiece in modern European literature". In his latest book, Inntil morgendagen kommer (Until Tomorrow Comes), Mutaev brings new stories about the Chechen culture, history and present, and this time critics call it "a rare and distinguished read".
The Chechen history has been, and still is, dramatic. War and brutality have been common denominators in the country's realtionship to Russia, the Soviet, and now Russia again. This experience is present in Musa Mutaev's stories, but his perspective is wider - he also reaches into the chechen islamic culture. In one story, he described the workings of the so-called shahria guards in present day Chechnya: A young woman becomes the victim of an honour killing, as she is buried alive by her own family, after it is revealed that she has had a love affair with an older, married man.
Musa Mutaev came to Norway as an ICORN Guest Writer, and lives and works in Trondheim. He writes in Chechen, and the texts have been translated into Russian before they find their Norwegian form in an excellent translation by Alf B. Glad. This extensive translation process would not have been possible without support from the Freedom of Expression Foundation (Fritt Ord ) and the Arts Council Norway (Norsk Kulturråd ).