Literary interview series

Ida Jessen: Postcard for Annie – interview with the author and translator Martin Aitken

I love Ida Jessen´s writing. The more than ten books on my book shelves is a testament to that. I have read her works for years, since before I moved to America 12 years ago.

What makes Ida Jessen´s writing so special?, you might ask.

Ida Jessen has a way of understanding the inner feelings of the human being, and a sophisticated and elegant, yet down to earth way of writing about the inner turmoil in a quiet life. She often times writes about ordinary people outside the buzzling city life, you know the life most of us live.

Her way of narrating the dramas in especially her female characters is unique and oh so intelligent. But, as her translator, Martin Aitken said in our conversation, the men are there, too, since the inner feelings of the female characters are often a reaction to the men around them.

Now, thanks to Martin Aitken´s brilliant translation, Ida Jessen´s masterpiece of a short story collection is available to an English reading community.

Martin Aitken has won multiple prizes for his literary translations. He has a way of turning Scandinavian literature into literary pieces that feel universal and his mastery and depth of the English vocabulary adds rather than distract when reading his translations.

I hope you will enjoy listening to my conversation with Ida Jessen and Martin Aitken as much as I enjoyed participating in it:

Jussi Adler-Olsen: Victim 2117 – interview with the author

Lighthearted and deep at the same time. This thriller is about so much more than solving a crime. The book weaves a thrilling with current issues of the world.

The book digs deep into the immigrant crisis in Europe and deals with the dilemmas the European countries face. Instead of focusing on the thousands of people trying to enter Europe in hops of a better future, Adler-Olsen focusses on a single person. Through that person, who might otherwise have been ´just´ another number, the reader is led to think about every single individual as well as a more universal perspective.

It was so much fun talking to Jussi about his book and his perspective on Denmark and Europe more broadly.

I hope you enjoy this interview:

Dorthe Nors: Mirror, Shoulder, Blink – interview with the author

This short novel is full of humor and depth. Through the classic motif of a female protagonist having difficulty learning how to drive a car and getting her driver´s license, the book deals with Sonja finding a place in the world.

Reading this book, you laugh while having a pit in your stomach. Nors addresses topics such as lineless, feeling awkward, and how to be ok with holding values that most of society does not share such as feeling that living in an urban is the right way to live.

Nors masterfully touches on existential challenges in a way that makes you laugh while wanting to cry a little bit.

I hope you enjoy this interview :-):

Carsten Jensen: We, The Drowned – interview with the author

We, The Drowned has it all: wars, erotic entanglements, death, sorrow, loneliness, perspectives from a small, rural town and from large cities around the world.

The story takes place from 1848-1945, a period where Denmark´s role as a sea fearing nation was internationally renowned. The reader follows 4 generations of seamen and the women, mothers and wives, surrounding them.

Carsten Jensen is a writer, a literary critic, an essayist, and a political columnist. Since his debut in 1975, he has published 23 works of literature. We, The Drowned has been translated to more than 24 languages.

I hope you enjoy the interview 🙂

Karen Blixen: Babette´s Feast – interview with Kristian Ditlev Jensen

In this interview, I talk to Kristian Ditlev Jensen, price winning Danish writer, literary critic and food critic, and ordained pastor about Isak Dinesen´s (Karen Blixen´s) novella, Babette´s Feast.

This interview series aim at promoting Danish literature in English translation. Writers and literary experts are invited to participate in interviews and discussions.

You can watch the interviews without any prior knowledge. However, we invite you to join our new virtual Nationwide Danish Book Club where we read and discuss Danish literature in translation.

Thank you to the ScanDesign Foundation, Museum of Danish America, Northwest Danish Association, National Foundation for Danish America, National Nordic Museum, American-Scandinavian Foundation, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and the University of Washington Scandinavian Studies Department. – and of course a huge thank you to Kristian Ditlev Jensen.

I hope you enjoy the interview 🙂

Helle Helle: This Should be Written in the Present Tense – with Claus Elholm Andersen

I am happy to introduce the first interview in a new series aimed at promoting Danish literature in English translation. Writers and literary experts are invited to participate in interviews and discussions.

You can watch the interviews without any prior knowledge. However, we invite you to join our new virtual Nationwide Danish Book Club where we read and discuss Danish literature in translation.

Thank you to the ScanDesign Foundation, Museum of Danish America, Northwest Danish Association, National Foundation for Danish America, National Nordic Museum, American-Scandinavian Foundation, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and the University of Washington Scandinavian Studies Department. – and of course a huge thank you to Dr. Claus Elholm Andersen

I hope you enjoy the interview 🙂

%d bloggers like this: