Tove på engelsk – book of the month

– says the happy reader

1. ‘People turn strange from reading. Everything written in books is a lie.’ Welcome to February. Our Book of the Month is Childhood, Youth, Dependency by Danish writer Tove Ditlevsen. Her life, as these memoirs attest, contained much in the way of genius and pain. She was described as ‘the Billie Holiday of poetry’. That quote is from her mother.

2. Childhood, Youth, Dependency is the title of the combined English edition of Ditlevsen’s memoirs. They also often go by The Copenhagen Trilogy but there’s something unsettlingly dry, yet compelling, about the three-word version; like the title of a brochure at the doctor’s surgery. The original Danish title of the third book is Gift, which adds a whole other layer of revelation, meaning both ‘marriage’ and ‘poison’.

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