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BOOKS IN BRIEF / FICTION

GRIEF IN THAILAND

KAMILLA HEGA HOLST

På træk (Street cruising) Rosinante 2014, 195 pages. FOREIGN RIGHTS: Gyldendal Group Agency, Sofie Voller, sofie_voller@gyldendalgroupagency.dk

Kaya, a newly divorced author, and owner of a slipped disc, travels to Thailand. She has left her children at home with her ex and his new lover, certain they’d be happier that way. Though exiled, Kaya’s maternal grandfather, who’s lived in Thailand for years, has always been the rock around which their divided family gathered – even now when the Thai woman whom he’d hired to look after his dying wife is his partner. He lives in an apartment complex in the highly salacious Pattaya area with its hooker bars, massage parlours, casual sex and “money will buy you anything scene” and Kaya, he decides, can use her time there as a form of convalescence by writing his life story… På træk (Street cruising) Kamilla Hega Holst’s

novel about marriage, parenthood and betrayal also paints a sharp and revealing picture of Thailand and its immigrants in her clear and lucid prose. Hega Holst, born 1973, has published two children’s books and two adult novels – her latest being Sort (Black) of which Berlingske said: ‘Quite simply brilliant (…) Kamilla Hega Holst skewers modern consumer fetishism in terse prose that makes very creative use of documentary materials: the father’s health diary, his nerdy life project, letters to newspapers, family photos and travel cards. Everything’s so clammy, scathing and troubling. In other words: a must read!’

THE APARTMENT CO-OP AS HUMAN MENAGERIE ‘Stine Pilgaard has written the winter’s must read (…) I’m so taken with her debut, I’m going to read it again!’ Thus wrote Weekendavisen’s reviewer, when Stine Pilgaard debuted last year. And it’s obvious that many other readers felt the same. The novel has seen no less than eight print runs and now Stine Pilgaard has completed her second novel Lejlighedssange (Songs for special occasions), a novel about people with their own ‘thing’, about streamof-consciousness-talking, comfort breasts, love and time. Here we meet the inhabitants of an apartment co-op, all bound together by their ownership share, co-op weekend projects, communal parties and internet problems – as seen through the eyes of the narrator’s funny,

keen-eyed and affectionate gaze. And the narrator meets them all, because she does horoscopes, party songs and ditties. Her room fills up constantly with residents as special occasions come and go: with Grandma and Ruth who met in a landscape of cows and churches, with Thomas who’s married to a medievalist saga expert, and Elizabeth who wants a song for her husband’s birthday, even though he’s been in a coma for two years. Stine Pilgaard, born 1984, debuted in 2012 with the critically acclaimed Min mor siger (My mother says) – an original, rather absurd universe of mutual incomprehension replete with wonderful dialogue, which was nominated for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s Best Novel Award.

STINE PILGAARD

Lejlighedssange (Songs for special occasions) Rosinante 2014, 175 pages. FOREIGN RIGHTS: Gyldendal Group Agency, Sofie Voller, sofie_voller@gyldendalgroupagency.dk PREVIOUS TITLES SOLD TO: Iceland, Norway.

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Danish literary magazine autumn 2014  

This autumn’s book season is upon us and Danish Literary Magazine highlights some new books that show where Danish literature is ‘at’ right...