From February, 2021

Sunday Staff Picks: February 21st

The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen “Down in the bottom of my childhood my father stands laughing.” So begins the second chapter of Childhood, the first volume of Danish author Tove Divletsen’s Copenhagen Trilogy, which recently arrived as a single volume for the first time in the United States from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The characters in Ditlevsen’s memoirs loom larger than life. Sputtering, coughing, sooty, they recall the boarding house of Balzac’s Père Goriot and the London of Charles Dickens. Ditlevsen imbues the world of her Copenhagen neighborhood, of which her childhood street Istedgade is the center, with a…

Sunday Staff Picks: January 31st

Three Brothers by Yan Lianke Yan Lianke’s work Three Brothers, translated by Carlos Rojas, is a tour-de-force of language and reflection. Ostensibly a memoir, Three Brothers is an interwoven tale of his parents’ generation, covering the unique paths each of them took and their actions within the mundane bleakness of life in the common-folk. From each perspective, spanning his three closest elders, Yan finds messages within life, resistance against fate, and acceptance of their existence. The story’s language, much like the day-to-day life of his family, is suffering specked with joy and laughter, progressing from the Cultural Revolution onward; similar…