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DANISH LITERARY MAGAZINE

Denne dag, et liv En

A RARE LINDGREN BIOGRAPHY

Astrid Lindgren-biografi

Jens Andersen Gyldendal

JENS ANDERSEN

Denne dag, et liv – en biografi om Astrid Lindgren (This day, a life – a biography of Astrid Lindgren), Gyldendal 2014, 350 pages. FOREIGN RIGHTS: Gyldendal Group Agency, Jenny Thor, jenny_thor@gyldendalgroupagency. dk. PREVIOUS TITLES SOLD TO: China, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, United States.

It may seem odd, but this biography Denne dag, et liv (This day, a life) is a rare event in coverage of children’s favourite Astrid Lindgren. The book, which is based on previously closed sources, letters and diaries from Astrid Lindgren’s life, is the product of close collaboration with Lindgren’s daughter and the director of the society that looks after her estate. And author Jens Andersen’s work diverges quite markedly from the Lindgren approved life published several years before her death in 2002. In fact Astrid Lindgren was extremely reticent where details of her life were concerned and what little she has told, Jens Andersen can now reveal, was far from the full story. For instance, the story of her marriage and the

‘lovechild’ she bore out of wedlock with the editor of a newspaper on which she worked whilst still young – a child she had to place into care in Copenhagen. Jens Andersen, born 1955, is a former literature editor and reviewer at Berlingske and has written a range of biographies on Danish authors, Queen Margrethe II and H.C. Andersen. ‘In truth, the year’s most remarkable biography,’ wrote Die Welt, whilst the Los Angeles Times called it ‘a masterful and comprehensive biography.’

A WAR ODYSSEY As a Middle East correspondent, Puk Damsgård has travelled extensively through war-torn Syria – and Hvor solen græder. En fortælling fra Syrien (Where even the sun weeps. Tales from Syria) is her scary and gripping personal portrait of a war that has killed more than 150,000 people, with millions more forced to flee their homes. She describes being smuggled across the border to report from a country in a state of collapse. Her book is built around a series of riveting portraits of the Syrians she met and followed, including ‘Nour’ who joined the Syrian rebellion, but now sees it as her worst nightmare. ‘Puk Damsgård is a world class war correspondent. Anyone who watches the news on television knows that. Her dispatches from the Middle East

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are so gripping and informative that she counts as one of the most cutting edge correspondents from a group of incisive Danish journalists reporting from abroad in recent years,’ wrote Politiken’s reviewer, who describes her book as just as unmissable as her reports and concludes by posing an often unspoken question when a correspondent goes to war: ‘Are her portraits of war worth the risk to her life?’ Puk Damsgård, born 1978, trained as a journalist and since 2011 has been DR’s Middle East correspondent, based firstly in Beirut and now Cairo. She’s also author of two books – De Renes Land (Land of the Pure) 2009, and Ulvehjerter (Wolfhearts) 2011.

PUK DAMSGÅRD

Hvor solen græder (Where even the sun weeps). En fortælling fra Syrien (Tales from Syria), Politiken Publishers 2014, 265 pages. FOREIGN RIGHTS: Politiken Publishers, Nya Guldberg, nya.guldberg@jppol.dk

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...