Simon’s Work in English
The stories collected in Milk & Other Stories display the quiet, inconspicuous way in which terrible truths and experiences are intimated: the death of a sailboarder makes a widower see deeper into love and loss; a young poet visits his former teacher only to discover he is literally not who he thought he was; a middle-aged man glimpses the terrible humdrum of his third marriage as his son embarks on a new chapter in his life. These revelations are conveyed to readers without grandeur or pathos, and they demonstrate Fruelund’s gift of subtlety and nuance. Like scenes from a life unfiltered by authorial comment, readers see characters’ stories played out dramatically; in brief but brilliant flashes, readers see lives they may recognize as their own. The 14 stories in this collection range across the wide arc of human experience, from the comic to the tragic, and readers take from their time with the stories a feeling, a mood, which lingers long after they put the book aside. To read Simon Fruelund is to absorb the complex emotions of the human heart. He gives readers the chance to step into his characters’ shoes at a key moment, a turning point, in their lives—and in so doing, quietly articulates not just what it means to be Danish, but also what it means to be human.
“Short but great, these disturbing stories from everyday life stayed with me long after I read them.”
—Rikke Viemose, editor, Litteraturnyt fra USA
Dante’s Avenue is an ordinary residential street in a Copenhagen suburb. There are trees lining the sidewalk. There are speed bumps and cars parked along the curb. There’s a pastor, an undertaker, and a stewardess. There’s a bog. There’s a housing complex where the welfare recipient, the taxi driver, and the refugee family live. There’s a man in a white suit. Simon Fruelund’s Civil Twilight is a tight, precisely told novella about life in the suburbs and about people’s attitudes towards religion, death, family and sex.
“Simon Fruelund has a uniquely spooky view of human folly. His vivisection of suburban life in Civil Twilight is by turns funny, moving, and surpassingly strange. There is little civility here, but plenty of twilight.”
—Nathaniel Rich, author of The Mayor’s Tongue and Odds Against Tomorrow