One of Us Is Sleeping by Josefine Klougart

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One suspects that the author forgot that even in a stream of consciousness novel, the story’s the thing. An interior monologue is a wonderful literary device depicting the thoughts and feelings that pass through the mind, but, like every other element of fiction writing, it is supposed to advance a story, not get stuck in egocentric maundering...
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

"Scandinavia now has its own Virginia Woolf. Few get as close to the human mind as Klougart"—Mari Nymoen Nilsen, VG

The English-language debut from one of Denmark's most exciting, celebrated young writers, One of Us Is Sleeping is a haunting novel about loss in all its forms.

Working in the vein of Anne Carson, Josefine Klougart's novel is both true-to-life and incredibly poetic in its relating of a brief, intense love affair and the grief and disillusionment that follow its end. While she recounts the time with her lover, the narrator is also heading back home, where her mother is dying of cancer. This contrast between recollection and the belief that certain things will always be present in your life—your parents, your childhood home, your love—and the fact that life is a continual series of endings runs throughout the book, underpinning the striking imagery and magnificent prose.

A powerful novel that earned Klougart numerous accolades and several award nominations—including the Readers Book Award—One of Us Is Sleeping marks the launch of a major new voice in world literature.

Josefine Klougart has been hailed as one of Denmark's greatest contemporary writers. She is the first Danish author ever to have two of her first three books nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. She's been compared to a range of authors, including Joan Didion, Anne Carson, and Virginia Woolf.

Martin Aitken has translated dozens of books from the Danish, including works by Dorthe Nors, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Peter Høeg, and Kim Leine, among others.

 

About Josefine Klougart

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Author of four best-selling novels, Josefine Klougart (b. 1985) has been hailed as one of Denmark's greatest contemporary writers. She was the first Danish author ever to have two of her first three books nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, Scandinavia's most prestigious award. Her work has also been nominated for the Readers' Book Award, and she received the Danish Royal Prize for Culture in 2011 with the committee stating that she is "one of the most important writers, not just of her generation, but of her time." She's been compared to a range of authors, including Joan Didion, Anne Carson, and Virginia Woolf.Martin Aitken has translated dozens of books from the Danish, including works by Dorthe Nors, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Peter Høeg, Pia Juul, and Kim Leine, among others. He was awarded the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Translation Prize, and was longlisted for both the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
 
Published June 20, 2016 by Open Letter. 260 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction
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Critic reviews for One of Us Is Sleeping
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on May 04 2016

...one eventually wonders how many pages—no matter how carefully wrought—are needed to confirm this novel’s grim yet pragmatic philosophy: death is coming for us all. Klougart delivers a sustained meditation on love, loss, and alienation.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Nov 19 2016

...graceful and precise language propels the novel through a succession of images that justify the vagueness of that feeling, what is eventually described as something akin to “separating an egg, passing the yolk from hand to hand, the fragile yolk that might break at any moment.” This is a beguiling conjuring of consciousness.

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NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Robert Lamb on Jul 29 2016

One suspects that the author forgot that even in a stream of consciousness novel, the story’s the thing. An interior monologue is a wonderful literary device depicting the thoughts and feelings that pass through the mind, but, like every other element of fiction writing, it is supposed to advance a story, not get stuck in egocentric maundering...

Read Full Review of One of Us Is Sleeping | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books