The Copenhagen Trilogy Childhood; Youth; Dependency

Tove Ditlevsen

$58

In stock


Called \”a masterpiece\” by The New York Times, the acclaimed trilogy from Tove Ditlevsen, a pioneer in the field of genre-bending confessional writing.

Tove Ditlevsen is today celebrated as one of the most important and unique voices in twentieth-century Danish literature, and The Copenhagen Trilogy (1969-71) is her acknowledged masterpiece. Childhood tells the story of a misfit child’s single-minded determination to become a poet; Youth describes her early experiences of sex, work, and independence. Dependency picks up the story as the narrator embarks on the first of her four marriages and goes on to describe her horrible descent into drug addiction, enabled by her sinister, gaslighting doctor-husband.

Throughout, the narrator grapples with the tension between her vocation as a writer and her competing roles as daughter, wife, mother, and drug addict, and she writes about female experience and identity in a way that feels very fresh and pertinent to today’s discussions around feminism. Ditlevsen’s trilogy is remarkable for its intensity and its immersive depiction of a world of complex female friendships, family, and growing up–in this sense, it’s Copenhagen’s answer to Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. She can also be seen as a spiritual forerunner of confessional writers like Karl Ove Knausgaard, Annie Ernaux, Rachel Cusk, and Deborah Levy. Her trilogy is drawn from her own experiences, but reads like the most compelling kind of fiction.

Born in a working-class neighborhood in Copenhagen in 1917, Ditlevsen became famous for her poetry while still a teenager, and went on to write novels, stories, and memoirs before committing suicide in 1976. Having been dismissed by the critical establishment in her lifetime as a working-class female writer, she is now being rediscovered and championed as one of Denmark’s most important modern authors, with \”Tove fever\” gripping readers.

$58

In stock

ISBN – 9780374602390
Format – Hardback
Publication Date – 01/01/2021
Categories – Memoir

more titles

Tove Ditlevsen
Childhood, Youth, Dependency The Copenhagen Trilogy

The classic Danish trilogy hailed as a masterpiece on publication in English last year – now in a single volume in Penguin Modern Classics

Growing up in a working-class neighbourhood in Copenhagen, Tove feels that her childhood is made for a completely different girl. As ‘long, mysterious words begin to crawl across my soul’, she comes to understand that she has a vocation that will define her life. Her path seems assured, but she has no idea of the struggles ahead – love affairs, wanted and unwanted pregnancies, artistic failure and destructive addiction. As the years go by, the central tension of Tove’s life comes into painful focus- the terrible lure of dependency, in all its forms, and the possibility of living freely and fearlessly – as an artist on her own terms.

$26

Shop

The Faces

New to Penguin Modern Classics- a searing novel from Tove Ditlevsen, author of the wildly acclaimed Copenhagen Trilogy

Copenhagen, 1968. Lise, a children’s book writer and married mother of three, is becoming increasingly haunted by disembodied faces and taunting voices. Convinced that her housekeeper and husband are plotting against her, she descends into a terrifying world of sickness, pills and institutionalization. But is sanity in fact a kind of sickness? And might mental illness itself lead to enlightenment?

Brief, intense and haunting, Ditlevsen’s novel recreates the experience of madness from the inside, with all the vividness of lived experience.

$24

Shop

about