2019 Jonas Eika, Denmark: Efter Solen
Jonas Eika has won the prize for a work in which we can sense the global crisis. Exploitation and inequality, desperate conditions and violent, dark experiences comprise an important part of its substance. Nonetheless, we sense a hopefulness in relation to the possibility of change.
The jury said:
The winner of the 2019 Nordic Council Literature Prize is a young author whose collection of short stories Efter Solen (‘After the sun’) has surprised and enthralled the jury with its global perspective, its sensual and imaginative language, and its ability to speak about contemporary political challenges without the reader feeling in any way directed to a certain place. Eika writes about a recognisable reality, regardless of whether we’re in Copenhagen, Mexico, or Nevada, and whether we’re among financial speculators, homeless boys, or people who believe in aliens. There is a real sense of poetic magic. Reality opens into other possibilities; other dimensions. There is something wonderful and hopeful in it that reminds us how literature can do more than just mirror what we already know.