2 of 7
Karate Chop: Stories
112 pages; Graywolf Press
In this collection of stories, Danish fiction comes off a little like Danish furniture, spare and sublime. Author Dorthe Nors knows how to capture the smallest moments and sculpt them into the unforgettable. Dense, complicated issues may be at stake—say, the first time a young girl ever makes love to her boyfriend—but to explore them, Nors follows an unexpected tangent; for instance, the girl's childhood memory of looking at a stack of postcards, many of them addressed to male names, only to become stunned by the realization of just how many men exist. Don't miss the sweet and piercing "The Winter Garden," about a boy's love for this father, or "Flight," in which a heartbroken Danish woman longs to escape "vast and beautiful" Dolly Sods, West Virginia—proving, yet again, that every paradise is in the eye of the beholder.
— Leigh Newman