The Denmark of Jörn Riel, Jens Christian Gröndahl, Josefine Klougart and Jonas T. Bengtsson
A literary journey to Denmark. A meeting with the authors of four recent works. According to polls, Danes may well be the happiest people in the world. The paltry 5 million inhabitants make up Europe’s least populous nation with the largest surface area thanks to Greenland.
Jörn Riel knows these far-flung lands intimately. Now 80, he was very young when he set out on his first scientific expedition to the Arctic. He spent sixteen years on the ice fields studying the Inuit. Since then, Riel has devoted his life to telling their story and describing Greenland.
Jonas T. Bengtsson appeared on the literary scene when he was only 30 years old. His successful book, Submarino, examines the dregs of Danish society, and confirms that there truly is something rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark. One might assume Denmark is unblemished by organized crime. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Jens Christian Gröndahl is Denmark’s best-known writer. A sort of natural authority. He belongs the middle generation of these four writers. Nurtured by tales of adventures of the past, yet a witness of the most recent jolts and clashes, Gröndahl is the incarnation of a certain consensual way of life in Denmark. He’s cool.
Josefine Klougart was born in 1985 on the Mols peninsula, a small knob on Jutland’s eastern shore. This is actually where all her plots take place. Considered one of the most promising talents in Denmark, her three novels are all best sellers. Her work is currently being translated to French for publication by Actes Sud.