Nordic Council Literature Prize 2008

The Danish author Naja Marie Aidt has won the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize 2008 for her short stories ‘Bavian’ (‘Baboon’). "The Nordic Council Literature 2008 goes to the Danish author Naja Marie Aidt for her collection of short stories ‘Bavian’ (‘Baboon’) from 2007.
The 15 short stories in Bavian (Baboon) are based in a world that appears indistinguishable from everyday life. Naja Marie Aidt writes with a graceful and ominous realism that draws out undertones of reality so that the reader becomes aware that everyday life is resting on a mycelium of potential disasters", wrote the Adjudication Committee.
What binds Naja Marie Aidt’s short stories together is their outlook on life or on the outside world. But perhaps also something that could be called their global darkness of life.

A current, a pulse, which is both gracefully light yet ominously gloomy, runs throughout the entire work. Complete music, such as can exist in a poetry collection or a poetry suite. Yet this is despite the dissimilarity that also characterises the stories - a clear, recognisable and dramatic voice and a cultural diversity, a wealth in expression itself.
Naja Marie Aidt was born in 1963 and made her debut in 1991 with the poetry collection ‘Så længe jeg er ung’ (‘As Long as I am Young’). She has written 8 poetry collections, 3 collections of short stories, a feature film and several plays. She occupies a very prominent position in her generation of Danish writers. Sorrow and happiness, pain, fear and trust, shine through Naja Marie Aidt’s short stories in a way that has a classic touch but is surprisingly innovative and multi-faceted. And they imply something as rare as genuine life wisdom.

 

The Literature Prize, worth DKK 350,000, will be awarded to Naja Marie Aidt at the end of October 2008 during the Nordic Council Session in Helsinki. The Nordic Council Literature Prize has been awarded since 1962.