Danish Praise for Burn All My Letters
The Danish edition of Alex Schulman’s Burn All My Letters was launched on April 28th, and Danish critics are praising the book. Here’s an excerpt from a rave review in Weekendavisen:
“Alex Schulman – famous media personality, journalist, podcaster, and author – has with his three autofictional novels [Forget Me, Burn All My Letters and The Survivors] knocked me off my feet. Rarely have I read something in this genre that has caught my attention and interest so intensely. […] The Survivors is the most recent of these three books, but it was the first one to reach a Danish audience. The books are not intended as a trilogy, but they work perfectly well as a whole. In fact, it is even a small gift to us [Danish readers] that we get Burn All My Letters as the culmination instead of the beginning. Like a spotlight that sheds light on the past and explains the present, this book is simply genius. […] Burn All My Letters is a complete novel (that will premiere as a feature film in September starring Bill Skarsgård as Sven, Asta Kamma August as Karin, and Gustav Lindh as Olof). As a dual portrait of the two fighting men it is culturally and historically interesting in itself. As a marriage story it is sad. And as Alex Schulman’s dissection of his family’s wrongdoings, it is an actual reconciliation: both his own rage and his mother’s alcoholism stem from Sven Stolpe.
As you can tell, Alex Schulman’s books are part of the great Nordic tradition of autofiction. Here, the relationship between author and reader is founded in a combination of trust and doubt, and I’m not able to say in what capacity the authentic gives way for pure fiction, if it ever does so. Of course, there’s always staging and (re)construction. His literary method is by no means groundbreaking, but it is superbly executed. Memories, therapy, research, archival finds, documentarism, fictionalization – together they make up a remarkably successful auto-confrontation.
In Forget Me, Alex Schulman began to dig in his family’s deception for the first time. In Burn All My Letters he continues to uncover taboos and traumas. And in The Survivors everything culminates with a dark and magnificent depth when three adult sons converge at the family’s desolate cottage to spread their mother’s ashes. […] The three books are at once independent and inherently connected – complete like the people they portray. Through his study of the destructive powers of rage, Alex Schulman has uncovered how an identity emerges by detaching itself from psychological bonds. It is both painful, liberating, and literarily excellent.”