The next instalment of our Literary Matchmakers series is dedicated to readers of Literature in Translation. It features two unforgettable authors, Fleur Jaeggy and Mona Høvring, whose slim novels are like two slices from the same pie—equally tart, equally delicious.
If you liked Fleur Jaeggy’s Sweet Days of Discipline, we are positive that you’ll love Mona Høvring’s Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born, translated by Kari Dickson and Rachel Rankin. Like Sweet Days, which takes place at a boarding school in the Appenzell—an alpine region where writer Robert Walser famously resided in a sanitorium—Because Venus is set high up in a Norwegian mountain village. It is here that Ella accompanies her sister Martha, who is convalescing from a recent mental breakdown.
At the steep, and sometimes snowy, perimeters of madness, these novels are dreamy and foreboding. Their prose is spare, haunting, nearly austere. Eerie tonal microcosms set the stage for unique coming-of age-stories. Both Jaeggy and Høvring follow female protagonists who grow and change, tensely defining themselves with and against other girls their age. They also tell stories of disappearances. In Sweet Days, the protagonist is mystified by her friend, and idol, Frédérique, who vanishes one day from school. Likewise, in Because Venus, after a few days at the mountain hotel, Ella’s sister disappears in a rage. While Jaeggy’s novel explores the life-long fallout of Frédérique’s disappearance, Høvring lingers on the moment of abandonment. Martha’s absence unmoors Ella from the bounds of familial obligation. And so she becomes receptive to herself and the world around her, glimpsing, for the first time, the knowledge of many possible futures.
No doubt, fans of Jaeggy’s cool, deadpan style and detached spiritualism will adore Høvring’s newly translated work and its many philosophical insights—both matter-of-fact and of the highest poetic order.
Read more about Mona Høvring’s award-winning novel Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born here!
SAVE THE DATE:
TYPE Books presents Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born
TYPE Books presents a book launch to celebrate the translation and publication of Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born. The event will feature author, Mona Høvring, and translators, Kari Dickson and Rachel Rankin, in conversation with Beatriz Hausner (author of Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Enter the Raccoon)
Friday, December 3, 2021
1 pm EST
Online. Free to attend. Register here.
That’s all for now dear reader. Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born is available to purchase from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore today!
Mona Høvring is the author of six poetry collections and four novels. Her previous novels include the acclaimed Something That Helps (2004), The Waiting Room in the Atlantic (2012), winner of the Unified Language Prize, and Camilla’s Long Nights (2013), nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born won the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for Literature, was a finalist for the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize, and was included on numerous critics’ Best of 2018 book lists.
Kari Dickson is a literary translator. She translates from Norwegian, and her work includes literary fiction, literary fiction, children’s books, theatre, and nonfiction. In 2019, Book*hug Press published her translation of Rune Christiansen’s Fanny and the Mystery in Grieving Forest. She is also an occasional tutor in Norwegian language, literature and translation at the University of Edinburgh, and has worked with the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) and the National Centre for Writing. She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Rachel Rankin is a poet and translator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2019 and was selected for the National Centre for Writing’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Programme in 2018. She has also worked as a tutor in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, where she has taught classes in Norwegian language and Scandinavian literature.