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Beginning in the middle of crisis then accelerating through plots that grow stranger by the page Naja Marie Aidt’s stories have a feel all their own Though they are built around the common themes of sex love desire and gender Aidt pushes them into her own desperate frantic realm In one a whore shows up unannounced at a man’s apartment. A GR friend persuaded me that this collection which had been on my radar for some time was still worthwhile after I was bored by at least 80% of Aidt s Rock Paper Scissors And worthwhile it was I was glad too that it turned out not to be a book of radical feminist stories as the blurb gave the impression it might be Rather it s IMO distinctly ueerOne story whose blurb strongly gave that impression was The Honeymoon it was missing from the Scribd edition of Baboon but I later found it in this three story sample on a lit festival website That s the one described as as a wife takes her husband to a city where it is women not men who are the dominant sex but was it all a hallucination when she finds herself tied to a board and dragged back to his car Which is somewhat misleading like most things in this book the scenario is complex the husband initiates the trip and the board is only euipment in a mountain rescue scene Stuff that happens to the wife outside the town and her reactions to it seems to be set up as a contrast to the town Which is in Greece perhaps inspired by Mount Athos The descriptions of the townswomen don t sound so very remarkable as the narrative implies they are the boss like the Last of the Summer Wine matriarchs and unapologetically confident in a way that sounds like some older academic and professional women But what is unusual is the numbers and proportion they re all that way I recalled the non title stories in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner whose setting is similar to Last but grittier the stories of relationship and family are pretty much evenly divided between those where the man and where the woman is domineering Another inaccurate blurb in the unforgettable Blackcurrant two young women who have turned away from men and toward lesbianism abscond to a farm there s actually nothing explicitly stating the women are in a relationship they sleep in separate rooms and there s no sex or kissing mentioned or that they ve decided to give up men or that they ran away to the farm they re just there although the impression is that one is mostly lesbian and the other has been involved with uite a few men Rock Paper Scissors showed that Aidt can write a wholly convincing male narrator she does this in Baboon too several times giving these guys a variety of personalities not just the overconfident sleazebag type whom others including Nicola Barker in Clear and Iris Murdoch in The Sea The Sea have written brilliantly That plus some of the character relationships and the way it soon became routine to suspend judgement as to whether a narrator would turn out to be male or female made for a delightful sense of fluidity and ambiguity I often came back to reflecting on what gender is the person who wrote this book and my instinctive answer was always both That makes me keen to read by Aidt except there are only these two books in English This interview gives the impression that whilst she doesn t use any new ish gender identification labels she has been conscious of feeling like and understanding both male and femaleNear the end of Rock Paper Scissors was a moment of truly leftfield weirdness a departure from any conformity or reaction to commonly seen contemporary ideas that held great promise for this collection The first story Bulbjerg did not disappoint Into a fairly routine litfic short story albeit one sculpted meticulously from ice a story of a family outing intruded a moment like something from the work of Chris Morris nothing physically impossible just the most ridiculous sick timing and very funny for it I looked forward to of the same but it was not uite forthcoming Some of the stories contained twists of a nature that only made me disappointed that to many people these are twists those about characters gender and especially those about relationship structures in Sunday view spoilerwould it not be a better world if it were normal for long divorced people to be good friends hide spoiler

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Bavian By Naja Marie Aidt

Women who have turned away from men and toward lesbianism abscond to a farm where they discover that their neighbor’s son is experimenting with his own kind of sexuality The first book from the widely lauded Aidt to reach the English language Baboon delivers audacious writing that careens toward bizarre yet utterly truthful realization. Short stories short reviewBorn in Greenland Danish language writer Naja Marie Aidt won the Nordic Council s Literature Prize in 2008 for this short story collection originally published as Bavian and the translation her first work to appear in English was the recipient of the 2015 PEN Translation Prize Add to the list of honours a longlist appearance for the US based Best Translated Book Award it meant my purposely delayed reading of these fifteen short stories to co incide with Women In Translation Month was only heightening my sense of anticipationA collection which includes the surreal the all too real twists simple incidents it is not a work which can be easily classified However the theme of fractured relationships kept bubbling to the surfaceWe have stories with divorced couple a couple with an adopted child revealing their extra marital affairs to each other an abusive mother who beats her two year old child a minor shoplifting incident which spirals out of controlThe story The Honeymoon explores a couple on their way to the matriarchal city of Olympus when they are attacked by a William Blake uoting savageFor my full review go to

Naja Marie Aidt ☆ 1 FREE READ

Roosts in his living room and then violently threatens him when he tries to make her leave In another a wife takes her husband to a city where it is women not men who are the dominant sex but was it all a hallucination when she finds herself tied to a board and dragged back to his car And in the unforgettable “Blackcurrant” two young. Baboon Naja Marie Aidt Denise Newman in media res and where is this going and still don t always know care and painful but masterful and both this and The Guilty Juan Villorobrought up because read close in time and space instead of making me feel the gaps between cultures instead explodes it and introduces the t s always there universality


10 thoughts on “Bavian By Naja Marie Aidt

  1. says:

    A GR friend persuaded me that this collection which had been on my radar for some time was still worthwhile after I was bored by at least 80% of Aidt's Rock Paper Scissors And worthwhile it was I was glad too that it turned out not to be a book of radical feminist stories as the blurb gave the impression it might be Rather it's IMO distinctly ueerOne story whose blurb strongly gave that impression was 'The Hone

  2. says:

    the first work from danish poet and author naja marie aidt to appear in english translation baboon bavian collects fifteen dark yet memorable short stories aidt's brief tales are terse yet fleshed out with characters enduring situations both strange and imaginative offering a nod to the absurd and unbelievable baboon hums with revelation and foreboding the only thing i'm not able to say about you is what you're thinking when you s

  3. says:

    In Baboon Naja Marie Aidt’s stories are built around the familiar themes of sex love and desire yet there is nothing “familiar” about them The reader is dropped in the middle of each story the first story of the collection starts with “Suddenly” without much information about the characters The pacing is breathle

  4. says:

    Baboon Naja Marie Aidt Denise Newman in media res and where is this going and still don't always know care and painful but masterful and both this and The Guilty Juan Villorobrought up because read close in time and space instead of making me feel the gaps between cultures instead explodes it and introduces the

  5. says:

    After reading reviews of this in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books I didn't think I would enjoy it very much From the descriptions of the plots of various stories—a woman who abuses her todder; a man who picks a perilous hike when his son's just been injured to tell his wife that he's fucking her sister—it sounded t

  6. says:

    So I've recently realized that I have a major crush on short story collections Naja Marie Aidt's Baboon is part of this epiphany Th

  7. says:

    Cynical raw devoid of meaning Brimming with disdain for the characters A small book

  8. says:

    Short stories short reviewBorn in Greenland Danish language writer Naja Marie Aidt won the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize in 2008 for this short story collection originally published as ‘Bavian’ and the translation her first

  9. says:

    Skip the first story or at least read past it without prejudice It caused me to hate the book at first but I read on out of commitment to my reading group and am very glad I did Some real gems there like Torben og Maria Hun gråter ikke and Tur i bil These stories are dark and disturbing but somehow not depressing per se

  10. says:

    I just love her short stories it's postmodern and lovely