2008 Naja Marie Aidt, Denmark: Bavian

2008 Naja Marie Aidt, Danmark: Bavian
Cato Lein

About the author

Naja Marie Aidt was born in Greenland of Danish parents and moved to Denmark at the age of eight. She made her literary debut in 1991 with her collection of poems Så længe jeg er ung. She has written eight collections of poems, three collections of short stories, a feature film and a number of plays. She enjoys a very prominent position in her generation of Danish writers.

About the winning piece

Bavian was published in 2006 and is a polyphonic and ambiguous short story collection. It can be read as a painting of contemporary Denmark, revealing and pointing to current frustrations and insecurity. Death is a steady companion that casts its shadow on the tediousness of everyday life. The books initial short story, the shocking story Myggestik, is both a farce about male self-deception and a close portrayal of the frailty of all human life. Sorrow and joie de vivre, anxiety and confidence are opposites that run like a red thread through Naja Marie Aidt’s short stories, where worldly wisdom also becomes a central theme in the end. In the short story Bryllupsrejse, set in Greece, an insane man is haunting the bride and disturbs the young woman’s balance between what is masculine and what is feminine. This androgynous sexuality is a recurring theme throughout the short story collection.


Published by: Gyldendal publishing company 

Publication year: 2006

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

The 15 short stories in "Bavian" start off in a world that appears indistinguishable from everyday life. Naja Marie Aidt writes with a graceful and ominous realism that draws out undertones of reality so that the reader becomes aware that everyday life is resting on a mycelium of potential disasters.