THE BRITISH LIBRARY

European studies blog

10 May 2016

Stamina! Stamina!

For the European Literature Festival Writers’ Showcase event we are posting brief Q&A’s with the featured authors. First up is Dorthe Nors from Denmark, whose works Karate Chop & Minna Needs Rehearsal Space are published by Pushkin Press

ELN Nors Dorthe 2008_1  Foto Simon Klein Knudsen copy_redux
Dorthe Nors (photo by Simon Klein Knudsen)

How did you become a writer?

I learned the alphabet, I started writing, I kept on writing (and reading, I read a lot) and then I wrote some more. One day I sent a novel to a publisher who loved my writing and published my book. That is how I became a writer.

Do you have a favourite character in your fiction? If so, who? And if not, why not?

Nah, you love the characters you work with in different ways. If I should choose a small favourite it would be the little girl in the story The Wadden Sea.

You’re coming to London for European Literature Night. Is there a British author you particularly admire?

When I was a kid I loved Charles Dickens (still do), then came the Jane Austen years (I still read her when I get the 'flu). I also really love C.S. Lewis - and Dylan Thomas, love Dylan Thomas.

Other than reading literature in translation, how else can we break down barriers between people of different nationalities and cultures?

It’s a matter of choosing openness. Being friendly to what is culturally different to yourself is a decision you can make. The very openness you need in order to read a book should be transformed to the very meeting between people. We have in The Western World, I feel, become dangerously afraid of otherness.

Is there a book you wish you’d written? If so what is it?

Tarjei VesaasThe Birds – an amazing Norwegian novel about a sister and brother (and life and death and love and stuff).

What advice would you give to anyone just starting out?

Keep it up. Don't let go. STAMINA, STAMINA!

What are you reading now?

I just finished Dutch writer Jaap Robben’s You Got Me to Love - great book, and now I'm going to read Max Porter: Grief Is the Thing With Feathers. Porter and I will perform together in New York later this summer. Can't wait to read his book.

Can you tell us anything about your next book?
Nope!

 ELN Dorthe Nors Karate chop