Wild Swims

The Scandinavian master of the short story returns with a collection resplendent with longing. On these taut pages, people meet without actually connecting, travelers set off but never seem to find home. We meet them along the fjords of Norway, in the bustle of Los Angeles, and among the lights of Copenhagen. Outsiders yearn to be on the inside, insiders are desperate to be free of constraints. A writer befriends an ex-lover’s mother. A young woman struggles to escape from the provincial bully. An elderly man offers his body to aging women. But in the end, “you can’t cover up what can’t be changed.”

Dorthe Nors shines a light into forgotten corners and brings darkness where you least expect it. The sharp-edged sentence is her signum and here it thrives, entire realities crashing down with the turn of a sub-clause. The characteristic Nors sense of humor is ever-present, catching us when the darkness threatens to come too close. Love, violence, friendship, and loneliness are explored in these pages that throb with life.

Dazzling with the precision and nuance that has made Dorthe Nors a critical darling around the world, Wild Swims is a story collection that throws doors open wide to new worlds.

Wild Swims was published by Gyldendal on August 23, 2018 to great critical praise.

“While reading Dorthe Nors’s Map of Canada I wanted to laugh, to cry, and to look away from the pages in awkward embarrassment on behalf of the protagonists. And perhaps on behalf of myself. Because there is something oddly identifiable about Nors’s many characters in the stories; they are all a bit embarrassing in their self-righteousness and egoism, and all a bit amusing in their most vulnerable moments. […] Nors is a completely marvelously honest, observant, and brave author. […] This is a fantastic read and among the finest ones that has graced my bedside table in a very long time.”
Femina, 6/6 (DK)

“Men and women, each with their own outlook on life, each in one way or another exposed, vulnerable and/or alienated. In Map of Canada life is not simple, and if there is humor it’s of the subdued kind. […] Observing the world from a position where you can be a part of something, yet not entirely on the inside. Too feel that you belong and don’t belong at the same time. To have your expectations disappoint you. To have weird thoughts when there’s nothing else there to distract you. It’s that kind of wounded humanity that occupy Dorthe Nors in Map of Canada […] Dorthe Nors can make it hurt incredibly in just a few lines.”
Berlingske, 5/6 (DK)

“Masterful short stories. […] A breathtaking portrayal of a woman who has lost all illusions and does whatever she can to steal them from others in the name of pure reason. […] The stories are characterized by opposites: rational thinking vs. nature romanticism. They often jump in time and space and from thoughts concerning themselves to thoughts of others. It spins and spins. And Dorthe Nors makes us ponder if this is what we actually are? More or less unruly thoughts? Whatever the message, nothing is anything without everything else. No man is an island. No matter how insignificant you may seem to others. Dorthe Nors is great, antiheroistic literature for our time. Read her.”
Elle, 5/6 (DK)

“Masterful Nors short stories. […] Dorthe Nors continues to deliver top-tier literature. […] The Herning author’s language is magnificent. I tried to write down beautiful and subtle sentences and I quickly gathered the most lovely boquet. Like pearls on a string. […] Dorthe Nors has become a literary star, and Map of Canada adds further to her reputation.”
Herning Folkeblad, 5/6 (DK)

“Incisive short stories about the distances between people. […] Dorthe Nors’s precise prose moves effortlessly from the smallest perceptible details to the alarming destruction of memory.”
Politiken, 5/6 (DK)

“Dorthe Nors is a master in the art of suggestion.”
Børsen, 5/6 (DK)

“Dorthe Nors has a great eye for the peculiarities of ordinary people, the thoughts and desires we don’t share with others.”
Weekendavisen (DK)

Dorthe Nors is one of the most original voices of contemporary Danish letters. She has written two lauded short story collections, Karate Chop and Wild Swims, as well as one novella and five novels, including the most recent: Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (2016), which was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2017.

Learn more about Dorthe Nors