Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors

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However plain the prose, Nors can’t help but handle words in interesting ways and put them to original uses. An exemplary sentence: “Inside her the sky empties itself in slow, unresolving fashion, and there isn’t anything worth naming in the fridge.”
-NY Times

Synopsis

A smart, witty novel of driving lessons and vertigo, short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize

Sonja is ready to get on with her life. She’s over forty now, and the Swedish crime novels she translates are losing their fascination. She sees a masseuse, tries to reconnect with her sister, and is finally learning to drive. But under the overbearing gaze of her driving instructor, Sonja is unable to shift gears for herself. And her vertigo, which she has always carefully hidden, has begun to manifest at the worst possible moments.

Sonja hoped her move to Copenhagen years ago would have left rural Jutland in the rearview mirror. Yet she keeps remembering the dramatic landscapes of her childhood—the endless sky, the whooper swans, the rye fields—and longs to go back. But how can she return to a place that she no longer recognizes? And how can she escape the alienating streets of Copenhagen?

In Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, Dorthe Nors brings her distinctive blend of style, humor, and insight to a poignant journey of one woman in search of herself when there’s no one to ask for directions.

 

About Dorthe Nors

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Dorthe Nors is the author of five novels and the recipient of the Danish Arts Agency’s Three Year Grant for “her unusual and extraordinary talent.” Her stories have appeared in Agni, A Public Space, Boston Review, Ecotone, and Fence.
 
Published June 5, 2018 by Graywolf Press.
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Mirror, Shoulder, Signal
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Josh Cook on Jun 19 2018

Although this book feels like a more straightforward departure from Nors’ dark fables and experimental novellas, we’ll be lucky when new translations come in.

Read Full Review of Mirror, Shoulder, Signal | See more reviews from Star Tribune

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Parul Sehgal on May 22 2018

However plain the prose, Nors can’t help but handle words in interesting ways and put them to original uses. An exemplary sentence: “Inside her the sky empties itself in slow, unresolving fashion, and there isn’t anything worth naming in the fridge.”

Read Full Review of Mirror, Shoulder, Signal | See more reviews from NY Times

The Economist

Above average
on Apr 29 2017

With its endearingly maverick heroine, Ms Nors’s novel delivers a bracing antidote to the cult of hygge—which has smothered Denmark’s global image under a hand-knitted jumper of sentimental bonhomie.

Read Full Review of Mirror, Shoulder, Signal | See more reviews from The Economist

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