Danish contemporary fiction

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Wild Swims by Dorthe Nors (transl. Misha Hoekstra): Smart, astute and funny

I first came across Dorthe Nors when I read her novella, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2017. Her crisp, plain style coupled with an undercurrent of humour hit the spot for me. Wild Swims, exemplifies her rather idiosyncratic style, its apparently simple stories offering their readers much to think …

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Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl (translated by the author): A meditation on grief, love and friendship

I remember reading Jens Christian Grøndahl’s Lucca when it was published in the UK in 2003, too long ago to recall the detail of its story but an impression of quietly elegant prose stuck which is what attracted me to Often I Am Happy. Its premise is also an intriguing one: recently widowed, Ellinor stands …

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Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors (transl. Misha Hoekstra): The loneliness of the learner driver

I’ve not come across Dorthe Nors’ writing before although the Guardian included her Karate Chop/Minna Needs Rehearsal Space as one of their best books of 2015. It’s possible I dismissed Karate Chop out of hand, not yet having seen the light with regard to short stories, but if Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is anything to go …

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