Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors (tr. Misha Hoekstra)

a nutshell: a gawky, profound mash-up of thoughts & happenings for a middle-aged Danish woman trying to hold it together in Copenhagen

a line: “It’s as if Molly’s face has acquired a barred grille, the sort you see in front of jewelry stores. She can yank down the grille in a trice, so that no one can barge in and help themselves to the wares”

an image: Sonja’s hushed unruliness takes shape in some fantastic private observations, e.g. how her driving instructor resembles a fat stork when erect and a happy pagan Viking when seated

a thought: it felt like Sonja’s social anxiety and chronic loneliness interlocked with a sense of rootlessness; at one point she says the place you come from is somewhere you can never return to, as it no longer exists

a fact: author Dorthe Nors’s interest in characters on the verge of disappearance is told brilliantly in her 2016 essay On the Invisibility of Middle-Aged Women


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