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Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and Percival Everett's Telephone has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Karate Chop

Dorthe Nors; Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken
Karate Chop, Dorthe Nors’s acclaimed story collection, is the debut title in the collaboration between Graywolf Press and A Public Space. These fifteen compact stories are meticulously observed glimpses of everyday life that expose the ominous lurking under the ordinary: while his wife sleeps, a husband prowls the Internet, obsessed with female serial killers; a bureaucrat tries to reinvent himself, exposing goodness as artifice when he converts to Buddhism in search of power; a woman sits on the edge of the bed where her lover lies, attempting to locate a motive for his violence within her own self-doubt. Shifting between moments of violence (real and imagined) and mundane contemporary life, these stories encompass the complexity of human emotions, our capacity for cruelty as well as compassion. Not so much minimalist as stealthy, Karate Chop delivers its blows with an understatement that shows a master at work.

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The first book available in English by an acclaimed Danish writer, “beautiful, faceted, haunting stories . . . [from] a rising star” (Junot Díaz)

About the Author

Dorthe  Nors
Credit: Astrid Dalum
Dorthe Nors is the author of the story collections ​Wild Swims and Karate Chop; four novels, including Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize; and two novellas, collected in So Much for That Winter. She lives in Denmark.
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Martin Aitken is the translator from the Danish of Karate Chop by Dorthe Nors. His translations from Danish have appeared in book form as well as in countless literary magazines. In 2012 he received the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Translation Prize. He lives in rural Denmark.
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  • “These very short works . . . are as sharp-edged, destructive, and intentionally made as the title suggests. Nowhere here is a word out of place.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • “Unsettling and poetic. . . . Some pieces, like one about a four-pound tomato, are oddly beautiful; others are brilliantly disturbing.”—The New York Times Book Review
  • “Nors’ affectless, matter-of-fact storytelling—crisply translated from the original Danish by Martin Aitken—is the perfect complement to the low-wattage desperation and intertia her characters feel.”Los Angeles Times
  • “Peppered with themes of memory, violence, loss, and separation, these pages quietly announce a confident and valuable new voice in translated fiction.”The Daily Beast


A Lannan Translation Selection
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