Johanne Lykke Holm (Sweden) and Niviaq Korneliussen (Greenland) are both nominees for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2021. In this live stream they are interviewed by Janne Breinholt Bak (Denmark).
Johanne Lykke Holm was born in 1987 and has previously published Natten som föregick denna dag. She also works as a translator from Danish and runs the Hekseskolen writing course in Copenhagen together with Olga Ravn.
Johanne Lykke Holm’s dreamily atmospheric novel Strega depicts a group of girls, or young women, as seasonal workers at a mountain hotel perched above the fictional Italian village of Strega. Every day the rooms are aired out and the sheets are ironed for guests who never arrive. In the common role in which they are being schooled in, the boundaries between the girls begin to blur. Their routines are punctuated by excursions – explorations of an internal and external nature that are organically vibrant, gothically threatening, and intensely sensual. This culminates in a disaster, orchestrated by the same strict superior who oversees their day-to-day work.
At the age of just 31, Niviaq Korneliussen is not an unknown in Greenlandic literature – since the release of her debut novel HOMO sapienne (2014), she has been something of a literary star of the country.
Naasuliardarpi (not translated into English) is a fantastically well-written tale about the backside of mainstream Greenland among young people struggling to be allowed to live the lives they want. It is a tale of love, friendship, sorrow, and unspoken words and feelings. It is a brave and ruthless tale about a people who have made suicide such a taboo that they refuse to talk about the feelings of the bereaved – and it does so in a way that is humorous, satirical, and deeply serious.