“If I can’t winnow the moments I live for, I can at least do it for those I live in spite of.”

One of Us Is Sleeping by Josefine Klougart, Danish literary star and one of the most praised young Scandinavian female authors, is a peculiar novel on loss, in all of its forms.

The narrator, an artist from Copenhagen, comes to her parents’ home at the Jylland peninsula, to visit her ailing mother. At the same time, she is going through a painful period following a breakup and hopes to find peace in her childhood surroundings. But even there ambivalent emotions haunt her, sorrow and pain since nothing is as it once was. What changed in her geographic and mental landscape?

While looking at the snow which covered “all living and dead things,” she sketches pictures that are spinning in her mind, mainly during the past eight years.

In short narratives or prose-poetry fragments her memories, emotions, parts of conversations and silence intertwine and affect, sometimes even shock, the reader.

One of Us Is Sleeping is a brave and unconventional novel with unusual and surprising vocabulary bravado, peculiar pictures and metaphors which almost copy thoughts, auditory and emotional experiences thus creating a true picture of us and our life. Because nothing lasts forever: love burns out, our close ones die, everything passes and all that remains is “a sense that this will never repeat along with consolation that things are what they are, but are not real. If anything ever is.”

“An astonishing talent and strong voice of Danish literature.”

Fyns Amts Avis

“Klougart succeeds in writing about transience of life in a new, intensive way; it’s tangible. This is true literature.”

Stavanger Aftenblad


Author: Josefine Klougart

Translator: Anka Katušić-Balen

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