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Exercises in Darkness (Øvelser i mørke)

Being translated into English by Denise Newman.

On the second floor in an apartment building only inhabited by women, lives a 57 year old woman. She has three grownup sons, she lives alone and sleeps under her coffee table. She’s on sick leave with debilitating PTSD after a violent traumatic incident and she can’t bear to be anywhere. She survives only with the help of her four girlfriends who carry her, accept her and keep her going even when she’s most furious, unreasonable and unhappy. Every week she takes the bus to meet with her therapist who helps her understand and live with the terrible thing that has happened, and with her friends close by she tries to learn how to be in the darkness - and how to step out of the darkness.

EXERCISES IN DARKNESS is a powerful, liberating, tough and poetic novel about women who gather together in love, care, and powerlessness. A tale about the painful and totally normal stories that women’s lives are full of, about violence and abuse, age and rage. It is about finally learning to tell the truth out loud while beginning to find freedom in living a life defined not by one’s life story but by oneself.

"When Naja Marie Aidt writes, the pain is palpable on the page. You, dear reader, will be changed by this novel. It is sad, angry and so beautifully delivered that the reader comes away with a new view of the world (…). Naja Marie Aidt is one of the country’s finest literary voices. You can’t ask for more from high quality literature"

– Berlingske

"Naja Marie Aidt writes with great depth and poignancy about men’s violence against women and about a woman’s love for her sons and her girlfriends"

– Politiken

"A very good novel written by an author with a sharp eye for how human lives intertwine"

– Information

"Fabulous novel (...) Moving, powerful and funny. An impressive achievement"

– Søndag

"A strong and poetic novel (...) Naja Marie Aidt is in absolute linguistic top form."

– Atlas Magazine

"Naja Marie Aidt writes dazzlingly about a woman's path and courage to seek healing after a lifetime of wounds, scars and fears."

– POV International


Publisher: Gyldendal
Territories: Germany: Luchterhand; Italy: Utopia; The Netherlands: Querido; Norway: Gyldendal; Poland: Cyranka; Sweden: Wahlstrom & Widstrand
Other Naja Marie Aidt Titles