Where has the summer gone?! With the reading-hammocks being folded away and back-to-school beckoning, this week we’re highlighting two resources: our new ebook catalogue, and recommendations for university reading lists.
Hot off the (digital) press, our 2020 Ebook Catalogue collects together all the Norvik titles that are currently available for you to download and enjoy instantly on your Kindle or other e-reader device:
Jógvan Isaksen’s Walpurgis Tide, translated by John Keithsson – a slice of Faroese eco-crime
We hope to digitise more of our backlist in future, too.For those returning to campus – in-person, or remotely – we recommend some autumnal poetry: Hans Børli’s We Own the Forest: And Other Poems presents a dual-language text with facing-page English translations rendered by Louis A. Muinzer. This work by the ‘lumberjack poet’ – a phrase I’ve never had occasion to write before! – is ideal for Norwegian classes. Students of Finnish may also be interested in our forthcoming selection of poems by Pentti Saarikoski, A Window Left Open, jointly translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah and also in a dual-language format.
The Nordic Council Literature Prize award ceremony will be held November 1st, and we at Norvik Press are looking forward to it with mounting excitement, especially as we have published works by two authors on the shortlist: Kirsten Thorup, nominated for Erindring omkærligheden and Vigdis Hjorth, nominated for Arv og miljø.
Norvik Press published Thorup’s The God of Chance in 2013, a story about Ana, a career-driven Danish woman, and her chance meeting with Gambian teenager Mariama. This meeting is life-changing for Ana; she sees something special in Mariama, and the girl soon becomes the family Ana never had. Because of this, Ana turns their relationship into an all-consuming personal project for herself. However, bringing Mariama into her life proves not to be easy for Ana, who has her own demons to battle, and her life quickly starts to unravel. The God of Chance is a story of opposites that depicts the gulf between European affluence and Third World poverty. Thorup is known for writing socially engaging novels that often take the perspective of the outcasts and the marginalised – and The God of Chance is another brilliant example of this.
Hjorth is the other Norvik Press published author on the shortlist. Her novel A House in Norway is one of our most recent novels. Alma, the protagonist of Hjorth’s story, is an artist who wishes to live a peaceful and undisturbed life that leaves her lots of creative space, but this peace is disturbed when she sublets the apartment in her house to a Polish couple. Alma wishes to be tolerant and open-minded, but finds that she cannot overlook the clash between cultures. A line can be drawn from the theme in this novel to Thorup’s The God of Chance; both of the main characters seemingly welcome foreignness into their lives, but only as long as it can be held at a safe distance, and when it comes too close, they cannot seem to deal with it after all.
Hjorth visited London for the book launch for A House in Norway in February this year, and delighted us all with an animated reading and a lively discussion of the book. On our SoundCloud page, you will find an audio clip from the launch of her reading from the Norwegian version of A House in Norway, accompanied by the translated extract.
That was the final straw. She didn’t get out of the car, but turned it around, drove home as fast as she could, impatiently, she could feel her heart pounding in her throat, blood roaring in her temples, all the clichés, this was how deep outrage felt, that was enough, there had to be limits, she couldn’t get home quickly enough, she had to get back while her body and her mind still felt as they did now, before it subsided even a little and she started having the slightest doubt; this time she called no one, she didn’t want to be talked out of anything or calmed down now that she was in full flow without any inhibitions; she couldn’t get home fast enough to express it, she forced the car up in the drive, parked it and ran outside and could smell burned rubber, she registered that Alan’s car wasn’t there, but even if it had been there she would still have done what she did, she ran up and banged on the door again and again because she knew they were in there, her car was in the drive and all the lights were on, she hammered on the door and didn’t stop until it was opened a little, and Alma pushed it open and stormed into the small hallway and glared at the Pole’s anxious face and her hair in old-fashioned curlers and she was wearing a singlet, of course she was, in the middle of winter. That’s enough, Alma shouted, this time you’ve gone too far, she yelled, you bloody well move out now!
We wish our authors the best of luck for the ceremony!
You can now read Kirsten Thorup’s The God of Chance, translated by Janet Garton, on your Kindle. More Norvik e-books to follow in the near future. Please let us know what you think! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are delighted that two authors whose work has been published by Norvik Press have been nominated for this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize.
Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth has been nominated for her novel Arv og miljø (Inheritance and Environment, Cappelen Damm, 2016). A House in Norway, Charlotte Barslund’s translation of Vigdis Hjorth’s Et norsk hus, was launched this week by Norvik Press.
One of this year’s Danish nominees is Kirsten Thorup, for her latest novel Erindring om kærligheden (Remembrance of Love, Gyldendal, 2016). Kirsten Thorup’s Tilfældets Gud was translated as The God of Chance by Janet Garton, and published by Norvik Press in 2013. Listen to Helen Cross discussing The God of Chance on BBC Radio 4’s ‘A Good Read’.
Warmest congratulations to Vigdis Hjorth and Kirsten Thorup!
“a distinguished novel by one of Denmark’s foremost writers … compellingly readable” Paul Binding, Times Literary Supplement
Norvik Press is looking forward to hearing Helen Cross discuss The God of Chance by Kirsten Thorup on BBC Radio4’s program A Good Read on July 16 at 4.30pm.
The God of Chance focuses on the relationship between Ana, a high-flying Danish career woman from the international finance sector whose work is her life, and the young teenager Mariama, two women whose circumstances are completely different. Ana first meets Mariama selling snacks on a beach in Gambia, and the girl gradually becomes a substitute for the family she has never had. The novel moves to Copenhagen and then to London as Ana brings Mariama to Europe to be educated; the girl finds the cultural shock and living with Ana intensely difficult, whilst Ana’s obsession with her leads to her own carefully controlled life descending into chaos.
Translated by Janet Garton for Norvik Press in 2014, The God of Chance was originally published in Danish in 2011 and is the latest by the prize-winning Danish author Kirsten Thorup. She is well known for her series of four novels about little Jonna from the provinces, which are also about growing up into the rapidly-changing Danish society of the late twentieth century; and Bonsai (2000), an unflinching account of the scourge of Aids and its devastating effect on an ordinary family.
If you would like to purchase a copy it is available online and in all good bookstores.