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The 2021 Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize is now open for submissions via Submittable through August 31, 2021.

Wild Swims

Dorthe Nors; Translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra
In fourteen effervescent stories, Dorthe Nors plumbs the depths of the human heart, from desire to melancholy and everything in between. Just as she did in her English-language debut, Karate Chop, Nors slices straight to the core of the conflict in only a few pages. But Wild Swims expands the borders of her gaze, following people as they travel through Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and elsewhere.

Here are portraits of men and women full of restless longing, people who are often seeking a home but rarely finding it. A lie told during a fraught ferry ride on the North Sea becomes a wound that festers between school friends. A writer at a remote cabin befriends the mother of an ex-lover. Two friends knock doors to solicit fraudulent donations for the cancer society. A woman taken with the idea of wild swims ventures as far as the local swimming pool.

These stories have already been featured in the pages of the New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Tin House, and A Public Space. They sound the darker tones of human nature and yet find the brighter chords of hope and humor as well. Cutting and offbeat without ever losing its warmth, Wild Swims is a master class in concision and restraint, and a path to living life without either. With Wild Swims Nors’s star will continue to be ascendant.

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A dazzling return to the short story by a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize

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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Misha Hoekstra is an award-winning translator. He lives in Aarhus, where he writes and performs songs under the name Minka Hoist.

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  • “These stories are a dark reflection of all of us, blinkered by our hang-ups and our insistent desires.”The New York Times Book Review
  • “Written with Nors’s customary economy of style, these stories confirm her as a master of unlikely liaisons.”The New Yorker
  • “Nors’ writing is spare and direct and each vignette is no more than a few pages, just long enough to convey a mood or a moment. . . . Its release is timely: This is a book for winter. Curl up on the sofa and read it in one go, thinking about all the other places you could be, wishing you were back at home.”—
  • “[Dorthe Nors] is a master of tracking the hits and misses of human connection. If she were a surgeon, she would cut with the cleanest of lines.”—Lit Hub
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