The Trouble with Happiness
A shimmering collection of stories from the author of The Copenhagen Trilogy, translated into English for the first time
From one of Denmark’s most celebrated writers and the author of Childhood, Youth and Dependency, these short stories are brief, devastating, acid-sharp portrayals of love, marriage and family in mid-century Copenhagen. Here the ordinary events of everyday life – a wife anxious not to wake her husband, a little boy losing his father’s beloved knife, a married woman’s obsessive longing for a yellow silk umbrella, a girl dreaming of a masquerade ball – become dark and disconcerting, as we see what lies beneath. Translated into English for the first time, these are stories that explore yearning, fear, despair and the elusiveness of that strange thing called happiness.
Translated by Michael Favala Goldman
Ditlevsen's writing is crystal clear and vividly, painfully raw * The Paris Review * A terrifying talent * The New York Times * Her writing is incredible, so focused and clear. Not a word that doesn't need to be there -- Tracey Thorn A beautifully written, resilient and relatable chronicle for the marginalized' (praise for Childhood, Youth, Dependency) -- Patti Smith Utterly, agonisingly compulsive . . . A masterpiece' (praise for Childhood, Youth, Dependency) * Guardian *
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