The Land of Short Sentences (Meter i sekundet) by Stine Pilgaard (translated by Hunter Simpson) follows a young mother and her boyfriend into a rural Danish community. Ms. Pilgaard is an award-winning Danish author.
- 272 pages
- Publisher : World Editions
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1642861081
This novel is a wry, thoughtful, and sometimes funny slice of life in Denmark. The story of The Land of Short Sentences by Stine Pilgaard takes place over a year, and told through the eyes of the narrator. The young lady is an advice columnist, an “oracle” as she calls herself, and this mechanism allows her to pontificate on her life, friends, and culture.
The advice she gives is pretty bad, which it seems like she knows as she reveals more of herself than actually helps her readers.
More than the story itself, I enjoyed reading about the daily life of a different culture. Hunter Simpson, the translator, did a fantastic job at getting the spirit and atmosphere across – no easy task.
I also learned a few things as well. Højskole, a Danish Folk High School seems like a great concept as the allow students non-formal education, and are unique to Scandinavia’s culture. The driving classes are hilarious, I’m surprised this intelligent young lady didn’t complain about the money-grabbing aspect of it, but it allows her to meet new people – so there’s that.
There’s a lot to like in this book, great characters, beautiful scenes, as well as funny dialogue. However, the story is centered around a new mother, in a foreign place, learning to drive – I’m positive that this middle age schmo is not the target audience.
The translator also introduced me to the tradition of group singing, lejlighedssang (occasional song). Lyrics are set to traditional melodies so everyone can sing. The songs in this book are on the World Editions YouTube channel, which I found once but couldn’t find again. On a side note, World Editions have some great books which I intend to check out.
A young woman, her boyfriend, and new born baby have relocated to West Jutland, Denmark. The young couple has to deal with new people, a new culture, as well as juggling jobs.
The young woman writes advice column, while her boyfriend is a teacher at a Folk High School (højskole). The woman attempts to find her place in the community, as well as with her new family.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
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