Helle Helle, chronicler of invisible women


Helle Helle (photo by Sacha Maric)

Helle Helle is one of Denmark’s most important contemporary writers, whose work has been translated into fifteen languages. She was born in 1965 and grew up on the Danish island of Lolland. Her work has received a number of awards, including a lifetime grant from the Danish Arts Foundation in 2010.

Helle’s writing often depicts characters on the outskirts of Danish society, both in a geographical and a social sense. She has a keen eye for small details and the importance of minute gestures, and her protagonists are often women. While her stories can sometimes be read as chronicles of the middle class, these narratives are often just a backdrop from which to examine larger questions of human existence, meaning and pointlessness, the small events of everyday life and the existential struggles of all people.

She is the author of two collections of short stories and six novels. Her latest novel, If You Want (2014), was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. Her novel This Should be Written in the Present Tense (2011) was published in English in 2014.

Panel: Magic in the Everyday Life