Helle Helle




They are her and her mother. They live on a Danish island, the year is 1981. A sixteen-year-old girl starts high school, and her mother owns a clothing and perfume shop. Their everyday life is seen through the eyes of the daughter, who experiences the small joys and sorrows of teenagers: awkward schoolgirl crushes, friendships, parties. But beneath the seemingly calm flow of ordinary life, a tragedy is looming. Written clearly and very concisely, the novel does not seem dark and depressing despite its subject matter, which makes its emotional impact all the greater. The book´s setting in a small Danish town in the 1980s creates an interesting period backdrop for an extremely strong and timeless story about a daughter and her mother.

Published by Paseka, 2021


Helena Březinová


The event has been financially supported by Danish Arts Foundation.


©Sofie Amalie Klougart

Helle Helle (* 1965) is a Danish writer of minimalist novels and short fiction. Her books have been published in English for almost twenty years; the first one was the collection The Remains (Rester) (2002), followed by the novels The Idea of an Uncomplicated Life with a Man (Forestillingen om et ukompliceret liv med en mand) (2004), Women Without Men (Rødby-Puttgarden)  (2008), Down to the Dogs (Ned til hundene) (2012), If You Want (Hvis det er) (2016), and This Should Be Written in the Present Tense (Dette burde skrives i nutid ) (2017). Her books have been very successful both in Denmark and abroad and have been translated into seventeen languages so far.


by Veronika Holecová