Baboon is Taking Over!
Published at the beginning of the month, Naja Marie Aidt’s Baboon is making waves all over the media—from the Los Angeles Review of Books and Music & Literature to top 10 lists on Flavorwire. We’re incredibly excited by this and thought we’d share some of the kind words!!
Naja Marie Aidt’s Baboon, published in 2006, is in some ways a national literary treasure, a collection all subsequent story collections have been forced to reckon with (Nors’s included). On its publication in Denmark it was met with unusual critical acclaim, and went on to win the 2006 Danish Critics Prize as well as the 2008 Nordic Council’s Literature Prize, Scandinavia’s highest literary honor whose laureates include Sjón and Per Petterson. Baboon’s belated appearance in English, beautifully and hauntingly rendered by the incomparable Denise Newman (translator of Inger Christensen’s short novels), is a major literary event.
While Aidt’s work may not be well-known in English, it will hopefully be the case that Denise Newman’s beautiful translation will bring the author a wider audience. Undoubtedly one of the most intelligent writers of the contemporary literary world, Aidt is also clearly one of the most compassionate—and therefore one of the most important—voices in fiction. How she bears the weight of such empathic descriptions of her characters, who we feel for as though we had stumbled directly into their lives, is a credit to her brilliant insight into the human condition.
And featured in Jonathon Sturgeon’s Flavorwire list, “10 New Translated Books to Read Right Now“.
Aidt won the Nordic Council Literature Prize for Baboon, which comes to us from Two Lines Press. Called “desperate” and “frantic” and “painfully universal,” the stories promise something special. Honestly, I’d trust anything from Two Lines Press, which has quickly set itself at the vanguard of translated literature in America.