1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Danish
  4. >
  5. contemporary danish fiction


contemporary danish fiction

(Apologies if this thread is a duplicate...I couldn't find another)

As riveting as children's books can be, I'd like to explore Danish fiction and literature. Do you have any favorite books or authors? Short fiction would be a plus, so that I won't turn to dust translating, but all suggestions are welcome.


November 6, 2014



Aside from HC Andersen (lots of nice short stories there), if you know the Meryl Streep movie Out of Africa, the author, Karen Blixen, was Danish (originally wrote the book was in English, but she rewrote it in Danish later. The Danish title is "Den afrikanske farm"). Babbette's Feast (Babettes gæstebud) is another one by the same author. "Skuggbiblioteket" (Micheal Birkegaard) is an enjoyable book-themed (as the title suggests) thriller/mystery-type novel. "Hærværk" (Tom Kristensen) is, I have been told, a very well-written novel about a literary critic for the newspaper Dagbladet. Personally, I love the book "Vi, de druknede" (Carsten Jensen), but it is a hellishly long (we're talking 600+ pages of sea-salty-port-city-life-Danish-maritime-history goodness, but told through a series of vignettes (and in first person plural, which is fantastic) and it spans some 100 years, so you wouldn't have a very hard time breaking up the reading and translating (we wouldn't want you to spontaneously combust trying to slough through the entire novel in one sitting). "Forestilling om det tyvende århundrede" (Peter Høeg) is the most /Danish/ novel I've ever read. Kind of dark in that way only a northerly novel can be, but a towering familial-history woven through with magical realism and commentary on society. It might also behove you to scroll through the "Danish Literature" tag on Goodreads and see if anything catches your eye, as I'm certain I've missed some excellent books.


Thanks so much for the recommendations! I think I'll give Carsten Jensen a try (at least until I crack in despair :)


I don't know if you might be interested, but you can find simplified classics in Danish. For instance you can buy books from the collection Fakta&Fiktion (Gyldendal) or on Special-Pædagogisk Forlag website. There are several difficulty levels. I think it is easier than "real" literature...

Learn Danish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.