Emmy Award-winning actor Merritt Wever performed a dramatic reading of a story from Dorthe Nors’s Wild Swims: Stories. After the performance, Brigid Hughes, founding editor of literary magazine A Public Space, interviewed Nors on the collection.
Written with the same darkly comic concision her fans love, stories from Wild Swims have already been featured in the New Yorker, Harper’s magazine, Tin House, and A Public Space, ahead of its February 2, 2021 paperback release. Nors’s Mirror, Shoulder, Signal was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize in 2017.
By Dorthe Nors
Published by Graywolf Press
Translated by Misha Hoekstra
In fourteen effervescent stories, Dorthe Nors plumbs the depths of the human heart, from desire to melancholy and everything in between. Just as she did in her English-language debut, Karate Chop, Nors slices straight to the core of the conflict in only a few pages. But Wild Swims expands the borders of her gaze, following people as they travel through Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and elsewhere.
Here are portraits of men and women full of restless longing, people who are often seeking a home but rarely finding it. A lie told during a fraught ferry ride on the North Sea becomes a wound that festers between school friends. A writer at a remote cabin befriends the mother of an ex-lover. Two friends knock doors to solicit fraudulent donations for the cancer society. A woman taken with the idea of wild swims ventures as far as the local swimming pool.
These stories have already been featured in the pages of New Yorker, Harper’s magazine, Tin House, and A Public Space. They sound the darker tones of human nature and yet find the brighter chords of hope and humor as well. Cutting and offbeat without ever losing its warmth, Wild Swims is a master class in concision and restraint, and a path to living life without either. With Wild Swims Nors’s star will continue to be ascendant.