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.Karate ChopKARATE CHOPStoriesDorthe NorsTranslated from the Danish by Martin AitkenA Public Space BookGRAYWOLF PRESSCopyright © 2008 by Dorthe Nors and Rosinante&Co., Copenhagen.Published by agreement with the Gyldendal Group Agency.English translation copyright © 2014 by Martin AitkenStories from this collection first appeared in earlier forms in the following literary journals: “The Wadden Sea” in AGNI; “The Buddhist” in Boston Review; “Do You Know Jussi?” in Ecotone; “Mutual Destruction” in FENCE; “Mother, Grandmother, and Aunt Ellen” in Guernica; “Hair Salon” in Gulf Coast; “Flight” in Harper’s; “Duckling” and “She Frequented Cemeteries” in New Letters; “The Heron” in the New Yorker; “Female Killers” in the Normal School; and “The Winter Garden” and “Karate Chop” in A Public Space.This publication is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.Significant support has also been provided by Target, the McKnight Foundation, Amazon.com, and other generous contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals.To these organizations and individuals we offer our heartfelt thanks.A Lannan Translation SelectionFunding the translation and publication of exceptional literary worksSupported by a translation grant from the Nordic Council of MinistersPublished by Graywolf Press250 Third Avenue North, Suite 600Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401All rights reserved.www.graywolfpress.orgPublished in the United States of AmericaISBN 978-1-55597-665-1Ebook ISBN 978-1-55597-085-72 4 6 8 9 7 5 3 1First Graywolf Printing, 2014Library of Congress Control Number: 2013946921Cover design: Carol HayesFor my parentsI come from a home with cats and dogs, and those cats were so much on top you wouldn’t believe it.They beat up on the dogs morning, noon, and night.They got beaten up on so much, those dogs, that one year they’d saved up so much hatred they chased one of the neighbor’s cats into a tree with the idea of hanging around until it came down again, after which they ate it.ContentsDO YOU KNOW JUSSI?MUTUAL DESTRUCTIONTHE BUDDHISTTHE WINTER GARDENTHE BIG TOMATODUCKLINGFEMALE KILLERSFLIGHTNAT NEWSOMHAIR SALONTHE HERONKARATE CHOPMOTHER, GRANDMOTHER, AND AUNT ELLENSHE FREQUENTED CEMETERIESTHE WADDEN SEADO YOU KNOW JUSSI?SHE CAN HEAR THE OTHERS DOWNSTAIRS.JANUS IS STILL THERE too.He has just said good-bye to her up in her room and now he’s saying good-bye to her mother in the doorway.Then everything is quiet again, apart from her older brother turning on the shower across the hall.The smell of meatballs has drifted all the way inside her room and she is lying on the bed with a pillow between her knees.She can still feel the wetness of his saliva just beneath her nose, and his fingers.He made an effort to be nice, that was it, and she turns on the TV.She watches what’s left of the local news, then finds a show where some person looks for someone they knew who has disappeared.Tonight it’s about a son unable to find his father.The son is thirty, rather chubby, and nearly cries when he says he is not angry with his father.But he can’t understand why his father has not written to him.When the girl whose show it is asks if he’s sad about that, the son can only nod.A blond journalist Louise remembers once interviewed the prime minister on the television news is seen going through archives and asking people in public offices for information about the son’s missing father.The father’s name is uncommon, Jussi Nielsen, and now the blond journalist is standing outside a redbrick apartment block in a suburb of Copenhagen.He is going to ring the doorbell of an address where someone at the local authority believes Jussi Nielsen may once have lived.I wonder if anyone’s going to be home, the journalist says as he rings the doorbell.An elderly woman with a short perm opens the door.She doesn’t look at the camera when she appears, and she doesn’t seem surprised enough when the journalist says he is from national television.We’re looking for a man called Jussi Nielsen, says the journalist.The woman opens the door a little bit more and says: Yes, Jussi used to live here.The journalist nods.Do you know Jussi? he asks.Yes, says the woman.It turns out that the woman, whose face Louise finds plain, was once married to Jussi Nielsen, but they got divorced.The way the apartment is done up, Louise can see they most likely never had much in common.But the journalist doesn’t care about things like that.He wants to know if the woman knows where Jussi Nielsen is now.The woman smiles, and looks straight into the camera.She looks proud: Yes, I know where Jussi is, she says.Louise knows this is not the time to turn off the TV, but she turns it off anyway [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]