After the Sun

In the five stories that comprise After the Sun, a missed meeting in Copenhagen catapults an IT consultant into derivative trading, a young boy working at a beach club in Cancún struggles to survive, a love triangle in London’s underworld falls to pieces, and a grieving man tries to merge with a strange machine in the Nevada desert.

The world in this transgressive collection both expands and contracts; each story opens a door, a series of entrances beckoning to new realities. Eika’s universe is a dreamscape where anything might happen – where the imagined and the hyper realistic together balance on a knife’s edge, and where there is startling beauty in the grotesque.

Jonas Eika is a young writer in utter command of his craft who grabs hold of the reader with tender fury. In this taut collection, he explores a globalized present defined by capitalism and saturated with desire. In After the Sun, Eika’s writing transcends nationality, sex, and social class, throbbing with an irrepressible urgency in search of something to call authentic.

“A singular world arises, a world of religious mysticism, gay sex, och sweet poetry. A world that I long to visit again.”
Sveriges Radio (SE)

“He creates an entirely fictional room – a room that is as foreign to us as every person outside ourselves is foreign to us – and invites us inside. […] Eika’s focus always remains on the individual person, he or she who survives whatever has raged through her life and closed off all roads to a tolerable future. He or she who survives not to take her revenge or to make it out better than anyone else (according to a somewhat stale Hollywood convention), but rather because that is all that remains. To survive. […] The world belongs to those who truly live in it. That is the moral of the story. That is powerful.”
Dagens Nyheter (SE)

“The dark mood – of a divided society that has proven itself unviable – is what I will carry with me. […] This is all probably highly deliberate, an ambition of the author to make me think and understand more than feel and believe.”
Kristianstadsbladet (SE)

“Eika likes to twist reality a bit, even if he doesn’t directly distort it. This is further highlighted through a sensuous and highly visceral and expressive language, where the intense sense of presence in the text is palpable. For me, Jonas Eika is a very cool new discovery. After the Sun is an unusual – odd, even – short story collection, where each and every story is well worth the read.”
Norra Skåne (SE)

“Eika does not linger in the filth of realism; he works with an element of the fantastical that is reminiscent of Lotta Lotass, who also sought out the dark side of the American dream. […] Eika’s stories play out in a colonized world, populated by those who rule and those who are ruled, by creatures on the margin. And the book’s final lines allow the world to glow “in a mild orange light”: a light of hope or of the apocalypse – which one it is, the text does not reveal.”
Expressen (SE)

“Jonas Eika is a rare literary talent with true sensibility, who does not need to flex his ‘language muscles’ in order to be immediately convincing and striking.”
Västerbotten-Kuriren (SE)

“I’m fascinated by how the author has created all these distinct narrators, all with their own voice and willpower […] This short story collection is in many ways complex in both its subject and form. The mood is almost tangible, and laid the foundation for my entire reading experience. […] After rain comes sunshine. After the Sun comes sweat and exhaustion. Maybe, above all, the feeling of being alive.”
Kultmagasin (SE)

“The story collection After the Sun is sickeningly on point stylistically; this is blinding literature. […] After reading, the stories are as difficult to shake as evil och particularly significant dreams; they stick to your backbone like fear or sorrow. […] There is so much to love about this book and yet the things that make it lovable are also what make it almost unbearable to read. At the same time, the literary brilliance offers little shock waves of joy coursing through your body – Eika’s stories are like relatives of those in Andrzej Tichý’s recently published Purity: they are shows of equally wild, windingly long and maddeningly stylistic brilliance. [….] Eika’s prose moves into your bones and expands your senses in the way that only dazzling literature can.”
Göteborgs-Posten (SE)

“Eika is an author who writes with his eyes, registering every detail and the smallest of movements. It’s a pleasure to read his writing, a challenge for the mind and the senses: I don’t always know what I am experiencing, but I don’t want to miss a single word of it.”
SVT (SE)

“Eika’s prose has a cinematic quality. […] The stories in After the Sun consistently give voice to those who finds themselves in the margin and who, in different ways, are defined by a loss and an inability to take their fate into their own hands – even when they try. […] At its best, his prose works like the drug he invents in one of the stories, that ’activates an alternative nervous system’ in the reader. And, in case it isn’t clear, that is a very good review.”
Aftonbladet (SE)

“Eika’s prose is luminous and hyper-realistic, as though the worlds he describes are consistently being viewed through an ultra-violet filter.”
Hela Gotland (SE)

“An ambitious take on what it means to write ’realistically’ in a time and place structured by a massive global economy, looking towards a future that, in many ominous ways, is already here.”
JYLLANDS-POSTEN (DK)

After the Sun is only Jonas Eika’s second book, and it’s almost incomprehensible how improbably accurate and vivid it is… Eika’s stories revolve around a grumbling dark and directionless desire, which is suddenly let loose and given shape. Eika recounts tender and intimate relationships, which are simultaneously not sexual, so much more than sexual, and nothing but sexual. [These] relationships are unmistakably queer, arising between men, between groups of people, and between everything that exceeds the human.”
INFORMATION (DK)

“Jonas Eika’s prose in After the Sun is muted and unpretentious, but his landscapes, characters, and universes are brimming with strange sensations and presences, eerily mesmerizing and mysterious.This is a work of apocalyptic science fiction with a underlying tone of realism. The book is an extraordinary example of why this genre shouldn’t be underestimated as a literary form, and why it might be especially relevant in our time of ’fake news.’ After the Sun is a fantastically strong follow-up to Eika’s provocative debut. His stories express many disturbing aspects of being human and of the world around us.They are never sensational, but ceaselessly enter taining.”
THE DANISH ARTS FOUNDATION (DK)

“The winner of the 2019 Nordic Council Literature Prize is a young author whose collection of short stories After the Sun has surprised and enthralled the jury with its global perspective, its sensual and imaginative language, and its ability to speak about contemporary political challenges without the reader feeling in any way directed to a certain place. Eika writes about a recognisable reality, regardless of whether we’re in Copenhagen, Mexico, or Nevada, and whether we’re among financial speculators, homeless boys, or people who believe in aliens. There is a real sense of poetic magic. Reality opens into other possibilities; other dimensions. There is something wonderful and hopeful in it that reminds us how literature can do more than just mirror what we already know.”
THE JURY OF THE NORDIC COUNCIL LITERATURE PRIZE

Jonas Eika is a Danish author who was awarded the 2019 Nordic Council Literature Prize for his short story collection After the Sun.

Learn more about Jonas Eika