Karate Chop & Minna Needs Rehearsal Space

by Dorthe Nors


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Two daringly original works from the acclaimed Danish author Dorthe Nors, published back to back in a uniquely designed edition.

‘Beautiful, faceted, haunting stories… Dorthe Nors is fantastic’ Junot Díaz

Karate Chop

In these glittering, funny miniature tales, the acclaimed Danish writer Dorthe Nors sketches ordinary lives taking unexpected turns: a son’s love for his father is tested when he suddenly discovers its fragility; a woman in an abusive relationship seeks to better understand the choices she has made; a man with dreams of self-improvement is haunted by deceit; and a daughter watches on silently as her mother’s search for meaning ends in madness.

Blending compassion with dark delight, Nors conjures up a flawed, unsettlingly familiar world with each cautionary glance – as fresh moments of wonder, romance and frail beauty are unexpectedly infiltrated by depravity, isolation and despair.

Minna Needs Rehearsal Space

Minna is feeling desperate. Lars has just dumped her by text message. Her friends are constantly flaunting their lovers, children and dogs (with Facebook as their cruel accomplice). And her neurotic sister is everywhere she turns. Minna needs security, and a place in Copenhagen to practise her music. Minna wants a child. Minna needs to stop being answerable to everyone. So, with only Ingmar Bergman for comfort and company, she decides to take a trip away from it all. In this highly original, playful, poignant yet funny novella, Dorthe Nors explores our struggles to find love, relate to others and simply be heard above the relentless noise of the modern age.

Praise for Karate Chop

‘Unsettling and poetic. . .. Some pieces, like one about a four-pound tomato, are oddly beautiful; others are brilliantly disturbing’ New York Times Book Review

‘Dorthe Nors is a writer of moments – quiet, raw portraits of existential meditation, at times dyspeptic, but never unsympathetic’ Paris Review

‘In the span of two pages, she is able to both build and unmake a character, achieving the same complexity that other writers require entire novels to establish… Karate Chop is the first of Nors’ books to be translated to English but certainly won’t be the last. Lovers of the art of literary fiction, students of psychology, and everyone looking for a quick, thought-provoking read should all indulge themselves in the subversive delight of this short story collection’ Booklist

‘The short-short stories in Danish sensation Nors’s slim, potent collection,Karate Chop… evoke the weirdness and wonder of relating in the digital age’ Vogue

‘Nors illuminates an ominous world of disconnected people trying to make sense of their dislocation… Nors’ affectless, matter-of-fact storytelling… is the perfect complement to the low-wattage desperation and inertia her characters feel…Karate Chop is just like that: It loves you and wants to teach you, but it also wants to harm you’ Los Angeles Times

‘In this collection of stories, Danish fiction comes off a little like Danish furniture, spare and sublime. Author Dorthe Nors knows how to capture the smallest moments and sculpt them into the unforgettable’ Oprah

‘Theintricately crafted stories in Karate Chop, from popular Danish writer Dorthe Nors, focus on ordinary occurrences . . . and then twist them into brilliantly slanted cautionary tales about desire, romance, deception, and dread’


Praise for Minna Needs Rehearsal Space

‘The funniest Danish novel I have read in a long time’ Information

‘Satirically sharp and satirically funny’ Weekendavisen

‘This is music to a language lover’s ears’ Dagbladenes Bureau, 5-star review

‘Tremendously insightful’ Jyllands-Posten

‘A poetic pearl’ Berlingske Tidende

‘One of the best books I have read’ LitteraturNu

‘Short, precise, and hugely entertaining’ Litteratursiden

Additional information

Weight 0.3 kg

Translated by Misha Hoekstra