Lectures & Literary past

When Death Takes Something You Give It Back by Naja Marie Aidt Online Nordic Book Club


TUE—August 25—6 PM, free

**Nordic Book Club will take place as an online meeting**

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of our Nordic Book Club, now online! Each month we select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. Discussions have typically taken place the last Tuesday of the month at Scandinavia House but will now be taking place bi-weekly as an online meeting. Register here to sign up for the meeting; registrants will receive a web link to where the meeting will take place.

Book club participants will all appear online at the start of the meeting when they log in so that they are able to take part in the conversation. For participants who would prefer not to be visible onscreen, see an easy tutorial online here on how to set a profile image that will appear onscreen instead.

On August 25, we’ll be discussing When Death Takes Something You Give It Back, an internationally bestselling memoir by Danish author Naja Marie Aidt about the death of her 25-year-old son Carl, who died in a tragic accident in March 2015. In this 2019 novel, she chronicles the first few years after that devastating phone call as, faced with the sudden emptiness of language, Aidt finds solace in the anguish of Joan Didion, Nick Cave, C.S. Lewis, Mallarmé, Plato and other writers who have suffered the deadening impact of loss. Their torment suffuses with her own as Aidt wrestles with words and contests their capacity to speak for the depths of her sorrow.

In this at once sober account of life after losing a child and an exploration of the language of poetry, loss, and love, Aidt explores what is it to be a family, what it is to love and lose, and what it is to treasure life in spite of death’s indomitable resolve.