Across the first month of 2020, Sophie Baggott is sharing her thirty favourite books by women from across the world. Find out more about her project to read women writers from every country worldwide here.
For me, Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen (tr. Anna Halager) was a challenging but interesting read. The author first wrote the book in Greenlandic (published as HOMO Sapienne) aged 24, before translating it herself into Danish. I particularly liked the glossary at the back to explain various Greenlandic words left within the English translation, e.g. ‘inuugit’ meaning ‘live your life’.
In a nutshell: This is a punchy, fast-paced, almost-stream-of-consciousness novella charting the major realisations and life decisions of five queer characters in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk.
To pluck out a line: “The island is swollen. The island is rotten. The island has taken my beloved from me.”
If I had to choose one image: The ongoing prison metaphor (at least, I think it’s a metaphor…) in Inuk’s chapter threw me somewhat but does vividly evoke the claustrophobia that has engulfed him so far in his life.
Sharing a thought: I read this book within a few hours and found it a stressful read what with the endless binges and hangovers / childhood traumas / emotional crises – but it’s certainly a bold debut from Korneliussen.
Fact: Korneliussen was born in 1990 in Nuuk and grew up in South Greenland, and studied Psychology at Aarhus University in Denmark.
If you’d like to read Crimson, please visit here.