Mirror, Shoulder, Signal

Mirror, Shoulder, Signal
A Novel
Dorthe Nors; Translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra

“Opening [Mirror, Shoulder, Signal] feels like opening a window—there’s a bracing freshness and chill to the writing, and the unforced ease of a song.”—The New York Times

“It’s Nors’s willingness to trade in the gently comedic, while still taking Sonja’s larger questing seriously, that makes Mirror, Shoulder, Signal such a complicated, and ultimately successful, balancing act.”—Bookforum

About the Book

A smart, witty novel of driving lessons and vertigo, a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize
Sonja is ready to get on with her life. She’s over forty now, and the Swedish crime novels she translates are losing their fascination. She sees a masseuse, tries to reconnect with her sister, and is finally learning to drive. But under the overbearing gaze of her driving instructor, Sonja is unable to shift gears for herself. And her vertigo, which she has always carefully hidden, has begun to manifest at the worst possible moments.

Sonja hoped her move to Copenhagen years ago would have left rural Jutland in the rearview mirror. Yet she keeps remembering the dramatic landscapes of her childhood—the endless sky, the whooper swans, the rye fields—and longs to go back. But how can she return to a place that she no longer recognizes? And how can she escape the alienating streets of Copenhagen?

In Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, Dorthe Nors brings her distinctive blend of style, humor, and insight to a poignant journey of one woman in search of herself when there’s no one to ask for directions.

Additional Reviews

“Dorthe Nors is one of the most original voices in current Danish writing.”—CBC Radio, “Writers & Company”

“Nors is an exquisitely precise writer, and in rendering her heroine’s small disruptions and, yes, victories, she is writing for, and of, every one of us.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Astute and contemplative. . . . Nors conjures a gently fraught reality in prose that evokes a life paused halfway between nostalgia for the past and hope for the future.”—Publishers Weekly