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Into a Star (Ind i en stjerne)

Being translated into English by Hazel Evans

INTO A STAR is a strong and moving autobiographical novel about a young woman who unexpectedly loses her husband.

The narrator, Puk, twenty-six years old and pregnant, is in the kitchen of her apartment in Aarhus. Her husband Lasse is out running a half-marathon, and her young son is taking a nap while she decorates a giant gingerbread man to serve at his birthday party later in the afternoon. The telephone rings. A doctor from a nearby hospital is on the line. Her husband collapsed during the marathon and has suffered a heart attack. She drops everything, quickly arranges for a friend to look after her son and takes a taxi to the hospital. Lasse dies the next day, without ever regaining consciousness.

INTO A STAR is a novel about the unbearable. It is about losing a loved one, about paralyzing sorrow and crushing pain, about life with a two year old boy who doesn’t understand why his father is suddenly no longer there. It is about giving birth to a child just three months after the death of a husband, and becoming a single mother with two small children who demand everything, while being torn with grief at the same time. But it is also a novel about how Puk’s life slowly returns to her through small glimmers of happiness and gratitude – for the two children, for being alive herself. It is a deeply moving and unexpectedly life-affirming account of how a young woman, after months of sorrow and hopelessness, begins to see a future again and opens herself to love.


“A novel that leaves no eye dry – and not just because of the enormous tragedy at its centre […] written in a language that manages to capture grief and pain in a way that makes it tangible to the reader.” — Maria Guldager Rasmussen, Litteratursiden


“Qvortrup writes without sentimentality, which makes the shock and sorrow even more poignant amongst the descriptions of day-to-day life. A sorrow that turns to shame in Puk’s rare moments of happiness – for her children, for living on – and guilt about feeling like she’s betraying her dead husband.” —Dagbladet Information


INTO A STAR is a tour de force. Puk Qvortrup, who lost her husband almost seven years ago, dives to the depths of grief and slowly finds her way up to the surface again, without missing a single nuance along the way.” —Jyllands-Posten


A shock in slow motion. Well-constructed and thought-out … touching as only real life can be. Puk Qvortrup’s debut novel is a heart-breaking story about saying goodbye. At the same time, it makes for an outstanding entrance into literary circles. – Weekendavisen


An utterly coherent and moving narrative. Believable and compelling. A moving story about the painful journey towards acceptance. Puk Qvortrup writes beautifully and lucidly about the difficulties of life after the sudden death of a spouse. – Kristeligt Dagblad *****



“She’s so much more than a strong survivor. Puk Qvortrup has a powerful story to tell and my god, she can write!” — Lilian Munk Rösing, Politiken “INTO A STAR is written with an immediate simplicity that it’s impossible to resist. Each sentence lingers. […] Reminiscent of the sad bitterness with which Joan Didion writes about the loss of her husband and daughter in THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING and BLUE NIGHTS. Only, Puk writes younger, more exposed, less polished, more from the body.” —Svenska Dagbladet


“Everyone should read this book!” —Brinkmanns Briks

Author: Puk Qvortrup
Publisher: Grif Forlag
Territories: Germany: Fischer Verlag; Italy: Marsilio; Sweden: Atlantis; UK: Hamish Hamilton.
Other Puk Qvortrup Titles