Helle Helle

Original title: de
Publisher: Rosinante, 2018
Pages: 156 pages

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She and her mother have lived in many places in the small town, currently over the hairdresser’s. It’s a corner flat, and doesn’t look like much from the outside. They have always been just the two of them.
In April, her mother finds something wrong with her body. October feels very long while they wait for a response from the hospital. Meanwhile, she begins at high school. Here she meets Tove Dunk, Hafni, Bob, Desert Boots and a host of others.
they is a depiction of mother – daughter relationship, a story about sickness and love and going to high school in the early 80’s.

Foreign rights

Norwegian: Forlaget Oktober
Czech: Pasena
Swedish: Norstedts
Dutch: Querido
German: Dörlemann Verlag


Nominated to the Nordic Prize for Literature 2019
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Nominated for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s Book Award 2019

One laughs and laughs, cries and cries. Not loudbawling or sobbing, but quiet and intense and almost at the same time. THat’s what it’s like reading Helle Helle.

Politiken 6/6 stars

Helle Helle’s minimalism isn’t boring; it crackles with mystery. Yet it’s of the everyday. And yet it’s insistently beautiful. A book … I’d like to re-read immediately.


Every sentence is significant, and you have to take time to imbibe the moods and read the details and their indirect characteristics, what they reveal about the characters and their thoughts.

Nordjyske Stiftstidende

Helle Helle

Helle helle 4, 2020, foto (c) mikkel carl nærmere torso
Photo by Mikkel Carl

Helle Helle is a graduate of the Danish Academy of Creative Writing and the author of a number of novels, as well as two collections of short fiction. She is one of scandinavia’s most original writers, with a career spanning almost three decades, from her debut Example of Life (1993) to her most recent novel, BOB (2020).

Helle Helle’s breakthrough novel,Rødby-Puttgarden, was awarded the Danish Critics’ Prize for Literature, since when she has received her native country’s highest literary accolades, including the Per Olov Enquist Prize, the Golden Laurels of the Danish Booksellers’ Association, the Grand Prize of the Danish Academy, and the Holberg Medal. Her books have been translated into 22 languages.

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Example of Life

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